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Tracking performance

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The ideal way to track injury management is to report on both the performance of the organisation overall and the relevant departments.

The RTW coordinator is accountable for work disability management systems and should regularly review active cases.

It is also important that senior management be kept in the loop. Regular reports ensure that best practice injury management remains ‘on the radar’.

prod_tip Work disability reports for senior management should:

Demonstrate medium term results (over three months);
Demonstrate long term results (over one year);
Demonstrate trends over a three to five year period;
Include graphs to illustrate trends;
Be simple to read;
Provide clear measures of performance; and
Track improvements or deteriorations in performance


The inclusion of work disability outcomes, case management performance results and financial data will provide a broad picture of the organisation's performance.

Reports should be reviewed in senior management meetings and at the local level by employees and supervisors.

Observing premium trends
Trends in claim numbers and lost time can be seen over a number of months.
Premium tends to go up or down more slowly. Premium trends can be reviewed annually, and should be compared to similar industries by comparing to the average industry premiums rate (ask your insurer or claims agent for this information).

Monthly reviews

The RTW coordinator should conduct a monthly review of active cases with the relevant supervisors. It is useful to record supervisor attendance at these meetings.


Quarterly reports

Three monthly reviews at a team level are recommended. The team includes key people involved with return to work management such as human resources, supervisors, union reps, health and safety staff, the finance manager, and department managers.
At minimum, the quarterly report should include information about:

The direct injury costs incurred during that period;
The indirect injury costs incurred during that period; and
Other relevant performance indicators.


Annual reports

Biannual or annual reports should be presented to the organisation's executive team and / or board. The meeting should include discussion about targets, program modifications and trends. The management team should review staff feedback about the program, and be in touch with what is occurring 'on the ground'.

At minimum, the annual report should include information about:

The direct costs incurred during that period;
The indirect costs incurred during that period;
Annual premium costs;
Work disability costs expressed as a percentage of payroll;
A comparison between set targets and actual achievements;
Staff feedback on the program;
The cost of the work disability program, including staff wages, implementation expenses and other relevant department costs; and
Recommendations for program improvements


What to look out for…

It can take years to repair the damage done by negative industrial relations. A negative injury management culture will consume vast time, energy and resources, not to mention the huge monetary costs involved.
Timely data, that provides accurate information about relevant performance indicators, enables organisations to identify problems early.
Things to look out for include:

Cost shifting

An increase in claims in one area can be matched by a reduction in claims in another area. It is therefore important to analyse data by department and workplace.

Problem supervisors

One problem supervisor or line manager can have a major impact on claim numbers and outcomes.

Problem departments

A negative department culture will influence all staff within that area, leading to a rapid increase in the number of claims and delays in return to work.

Analysing the data by department, shift and supervisor helps to identifying problems early.
The analysis will also help to identify positive approaches and changes. These can be used as examples to follow.