When you’re treating an injured worker, recovery from the injury is obviously your priority, but your ultimate injury management goal – as a GP – should be your patient’s return to work. Why? Because all the evidence tells us that returning to work delivers the best outcomes for patients.

According to research, the sooner an injured worker returns to work, the better it is for their health and mental wellbeing. In fact, a long-term absence from work adversely affects our health. That’s why, in workers’ compensation law, injury management is defined as “the management of workers’ injuries in a manner that is directed at enabling injured workers to return to work”.

So how exactly do you create an injury management program that will help your patient return to work and a healthy way of life, safely and sustainably, sooner rather than later?

Learn about the importance of effective early intervention in optimising recovery for your patients. Read about it.

What are psychosocial factors, and how do they affect injury management, recovery and return to work programs? Find out how to identify, flag up and address psychosocial concerns using our certificates of capacity. Read about it.

Case conferences are key elements in successful injury management, ensuring everyone involved in your patient’s return-to-work journey is on the same page and able to discuss and refine the best way forward. Find out more about case conferences and your role as a GP. Read about it.

It’s important that you and your patient focus on what your patient can do – their capacity – rather than simply identifying what they can’t do. Find out more about assessing and certifying capacity for work. Read about it.

Measuring the effectiveness of treatment and other interventions for injured workers can be useful in identifying when a new approach to injury management is required, particularly for complex cases. Find out more about Applied resources for GPs.

With a good return to work program, you can be sure your patient’s work duties and conditions will support their recovery. Usually, your patient’s employer will take primary responsibility for the program, but you have a key role to play as a GP. Find out more about return to work programs.

Sometimes, you may find that your patient needs extra specialist support, particularly if their return to work program isn’t progressing as expected. In these situations, a workplace rehabilitation provider (WRP) can help. Find out about WRPs and how to refer your patient.