WorkSafe claimants often opt for elective surgery as part of their recovery and there have been calls to examine theimpact that these surgeries have upon claim journeys and client outcomes.
This agenda was taken forward specifically by the Health andDisability Strategy Group (HDSG) – a collaborative group jointly set up by Worksafe and the TAC toimprove rehabilitation and return to work outcomes for injured Victorians.
The HSGD worked closely with an ISCRR research team led by Samantha Barker to develop a project looking specifically at Implantable PainTherapy and Spinal Fusion.
These surgeries were then examined in terms how they impactupon claimants' return to work, mental and physical health, and pain managementoutcomes.
It was hoped that knowledge around these surgeries' outcomes could be used to improve claimmanagement into the future, particularly in terms of planning and resourcemanagement around surgery requestsreceived from claimants.
ISCRR's Compensation Research Database (CRD) is playing a crucial role in facilitating this project, as its data helps topaint a picture of patient outcome following these types of surgeries.
This research is ongoing.