627932d9053b7b4533719e10 Claire Muselman

The Compassionate Side of Workers’ Compensation: Harnessing the Power of Effective Communication

627932d9053b7b4533719e10 Claire Muselman

Madison, WI (WorkersCompensation.com) -- On May 11, 2023, Dr. Claire Muselman delivered a thought-provoking and insightful presentation titled "The Compassionate Side of Workers' Compensation" at the Kids' Chance of Wisconsin Medical and Legal Seminar. The seminar attended by employers, risk managers, attorneys, and insurance professionals, aimed to shed light on the power of human connection and effective communication within the workers' compensation system.

Dr. Muselman's presentation began with an overview of the course's goals, redefining the role of adjusters and emphasizing an integral part of employers in the workers' compensation process. She highlighted the importance of effective communication between medical providers, such as doctors and nurses, and emphasized the significance of attorney involvement in workers' compensation cases.

The speaker then delivered a motivational pep talk, exploring the science of happiness and the impact of neurotransmitters like serotonin, endorphins, dopamine, and oxytocin. By understanding these neurochemicals and their role in human well-being, Dr. Muselman encouraged the audience to cultivate a positive and empathetic approach in their interactions within the workers' compensation system.

During her presentation, Dr. Muselman discussed the current landscape of the insurance industry, touching upon challenges posed by events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, cyber threats, and severe weather. She emphasized the underlying intent of insurance: to restore the livelihood of individuals. This led to exploring the various roles of adjusters, nurse case managers, attorneys, employers, and physicians in the workers' compensation process.

One significant aspect of the presentation revolved around the messaging framework in workers' compensation. Dr. Muselman highlighted the societal messaging, advertisements, carrier and third-party administrator communications, friends and family, medical providers, attorneys, and employers. The impact of effective messaging was emphasized, drawing upon Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Acknowledgment, being heard, inclusion and a sense of belonging were critical elements that contributed to better outcomes for all stakeholders.

To address the need for change, Dr. Muselman outlined specific actions that could be taken by different stakeholders in the workers' compensation system. Insurance carriers were encouraged to restore people's livelihoods and effectively communicate the benefits they are qualified for. Friends and family were urged to provide a support system and share the power of storytelling. Medical providers were advised to improve their bedside manner and increase communication with the injured worker and their families. Adjusters were reminded that a thoughtful approach costs nothing, and employers were provided guidance on establishing accountability, effective communication, and genuine care for their employees.

The presentation also delved into the scope of the impact on workers' compensation. Dr. Muselman stressed the importance of doing what one says one will do and building a plan for better outcomes. Employers were urged to invest in training, recognizing that workers' compensation is not a remedy for poor hiring decisions. The hard and soft fraud topic was also discussed, emphasizing the need for ethical practices and expertise among all parties involved.

The significance of effective communication in workers' compensation was reiterated in the latter part of the presentation. Dr. Muselman explored how compassionate communication could improve results, including lower litigation rates, reduced lost time days, better medical treatment, and decreased cost per claim. Cultivating an organizational culture that values compassion and communication was highlighted as desirable.

Dr. Muselman concluded her presentation by discussing the need to rethink return-to-work processes by adopting a task-based work approach. She highlighted the importance of clearly outlining tasks in writing and specifying the number of hours and days per week to support a smoother transition back to work for injured workers.

Written communication was also addressed during the presentation. Dr. Muselman emphasized the value of authentic and personalized touch through cards and letters. These mediums can convey empathy and support, fostering a sense of belonging and understanding for injured workers.

In a thought-provoking segment, Dr. Muselman invited the audience to consider their power of influence as individuals, teams, and organizations within the workers' compensation system. She encouraged them to focus on what they can control, influence, and be concerned about, highlighting the importance of taking proactive steps to be part of the solution.

Dr. Muselman emphasized the ethical and compassionate approach to workers' compensation throughout the presentation. By adopting virtuous communication methods, such as honesty, courage, compassion, and integrity, insurance adjusters can strive to achieve better outcomes for all stakeholders involved.

The significance of Dr. Muselman's talk lies in the potential to transform the workers' compensation system. Employers, risk managers, attorneys, and insurance professionals can cultivate a culture of compassion, understanding, and improved results by recognizing the power of effective communication and human connection.

This course has provided attendees with a deeper understanding of the importance of communication components in all aspects of workers' compensation. By focusing on attunement to the emotional and psychological needs of individuals involved in the process, stakeholders can deliver more effective messages tailored to the audience and context.

In conclusion, Dr. Muselman's presentation at the Kids' Chance of Wisconsin Conference shed light on the compassionate side of workers' compensation. By harnessing the power of effective communication, stakeholders can create a more empathetic and efficient system that supports the well-being and recovery of injured workers. The insights shared during this presentation can shape the future of workers' compensation and inspire positive change within the industry.

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