We recently sat down with Troy Fenderson, our VP of Insurance Operations, to talk about managing risk in the healthcare sector. Troy has over 25 years of experience managing large healthcare risks from the perspective of workers’ comp, with a primary focus on loss prevention services and loss mitigation post-injury. His experience includes managing risk for the largest skilled nursing, assisted living and independent living organization in the country, with approximately 300 communities across the US.
Q. How does your expertise in the healthcare sector set Kinetic apart as a workers’ comp provider in this space?
A. After nearly three decades working in workers’ comp for long-term care, I really understand the industry and its risk factors. I understand the workload the nursing staff encounters with repositioning patients, resident transfers and assisting with patient mobility. This deep understanding and experience is a key differentiator for Kinetic because it allows us to truly understand the major loss sources specific to this sector, as well as critical risk mitigation practices to reduce or eliminate those losses.
I also bring extensive experience in what to do when an injury occurs, from obtaining medical assistance for the injured worker to initiating return-to-work programs or transitional duty programs. This greatly informs our post-injury loss mitigation capabilities.
Q. What major loss sources are identified with healthcare workers’ comp claims and how does Kinetic address them?
A. There are three main loss sources: soft tissue strain and sprain injuries that result from patient transfers and repositioning; slips and falls; and managing aggressive behavior.
Strain and sprain injuries are the driving loss source behind most injuries in the healthcare field, and they’re what we’re primarily focused on at Kinetic in terms of risk prevention. We offer expertise in this risk factor in the long-term care sector, plus our policies include free wearable technology that helps mitigate exposure to strain and sprain injuries.
We also help our clients address loss sources outside strains and sprains through our Nationwide partner, which has many experts in the loss control field.
Q. How does Kinetic’s wearable tech help mitigate exposure to strain and sprain injuries in this field?
A. Practitioners working across healthcare communities, from skilled nursing to assisted living to independent living, are engaged in patient mobility activities. These include transferring, repositioning and ambulating patients, often in awkward positions. They can involve repetitive strain and overexertion, including excessive bending, twisting and reaching. Our technology specifically addresses these high-risk postures that can lead to a strain and sprain injury.
When a nurse performs an unsafe movement, like an improper bend or overreach when moving a patient, the device vibrates to alert the worker. This allows them to self-correct and over time actually changes the way the worker moves on the job. As unsafe movements are reduced across the workforce, injury rates are reduced too.
Q. In this sector, who can benefit most from the Kinetic wearable device?
A. A really good use of our device is for nurses tasked with a lot of manual labor. So for example, practitioners in assisted living communities where the residents are mostly ambulatory, but still require nursing support from time to time, or as they progress towards needing skilled nursing care, benefit greatly from the wearable. Certified Nurse Assistants especially, who are performing the bulk of patient mobility activities, can greatly reduce their high-risk postures that can lead to injury with our safety wearable.
However, any healthcare worker performing lifts, transfers and repositioning, at any style of community, can benefit from the device. And within these communities, the benefits are applicable beyond nurses with housekeeping, dining services and maintenance employees also able to take advantage of the continuous coaching around risky movements performed while doing physically demanding daily tasks.
Q. What other advantages do healthcare employers gain from a work comp policy that includes safety tech?
A. Reduced injury rates are definitely the primary advantage, as they translate not only to a healthier and happier workforce but to significant cost savings and increased productivity. As injuries go down, claims go down, which allows employers to save on their premiums. We also offer a dividend program that rewards employers for their safety efforts.
Beyond the worker behavior changes that result from the tech’s real-time alerts, operators also benefit from the data they collect, which offers management actionable insights. They can identify which employees might benefit from additional safety training, and gain a greater understanding of which job type is driving the most risk. This new data can then be used to further reduce or eliminate hazards.
Finally, the utilization of our safety device helps build an organization’s safety culture by empowering employees to engage in the safety process.
Kinetic wearable technology has been proven to reduce workplace injuries by 55% and lost work days by 72%. Provided to policyholders at no extra cost, the Kinetic Reflex detects high-risk behaviors and provides data-driven insights to help protect workers and enhance the bottom line.
Learn more about smarter workers’ comp insurance coverage that keeps workers safe and reduces costs today!