HOW WE’RE DIFFERENT FROM DISABILITY MANAGEMENT
WHAT IS DISABILITY MANAGEMENT
As defined by the Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences, Disability Management (DM) is a process designed to facilitate the return to work of injured or ill employees through a coordinated effort taking into account the needs of the individuals, the work environment, and legal obligations.
DM professionals utilize an empathetic approach to assist employees absent with a mental or physical health issue and work collaboratively with management, unions or employee organizations, insurance providers, government agencies, health care providers.
DM is a complex field requiring skills and knowledge in the areas of:
- Disability management theory and practice
- Legislation and benefit programs
- Labour-management relations
- Communication and problem-solving skills
- Disability case management
- Return to work coordination
- Health, psychosocial, prevention, functional aspects of disability
- Program management and evaluation activities
- Ethical and professional conduct
HOW THE VIRTUAL MEDICAL DIRECTOR DIFFERS FROM DISABILITY MANAGEMENT
Disability management’s primary focus is on workplace-based reintegration programs to restore and maintain the workers’ abilities for a safe return to work. Their focus is NOT on evidence-based medical care and as such, they are reactive to treating physician decision making on ‘fitness to return to work.’
The Virtual Medical Director cooperatively enables evidence-based medical care for faster return to health and ‘fitness to work,’ starting at 10 days following the last day of work, and seldom is involved in disability management return-to-work programs.