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DSI Job Function Matching® Provider Wins National Award
Judie Tsanopoulos was named Risk Innovator from Risk and Insurance. DSI Job Function Matching® programs were the basis of her work and award. Judie describing how she and St Joseph Health System plan to use DSI Job Function Matching to reduce their work comp costs and improve their services. The text of the “award” she won for using the DSI Job Function Matching process follows.

2005:
To: Dennis and Susan Isernhagen
St Joseph Health System Orange CA
From: Judie Tsanopoulos, Director of Workers Compensation and Loss Control:

“As a large Health System, we face an ever growing frequency & severity issue associated with our industrial losses. Determined to find solutions, we sought out to find a innovative business partner that could develop a true prevention strategy to identify risks at multiple levels. We identified the areas that initiated and contributed to our losses during three stages: pre-placement, return from LOA’s and during the treatment phase of a disability.

DSI Work Solutions tailored a customized approach in partnership with our Labor Counsel to implement a Transitional Task Bank that evaluates an individual’s physical ability to perform the essential duties of a position. This system assures that the applicant may safely execute the functions and identifies any modifications that can be crafted to safely perform the essential functions.

This system provides an objective barometer for treating physicians to evaluate the appropriate physical abilities that can be safely conducted during the recovery process. Each visit is then utilized to reassess and evaluate additional abilities until the individual can return to usual & customary status.

Historically, loss control approaches evaluate near misses or respond to large loss developments. This approach is the ultimate in prevention, enabling appropriate job matched to the candidates, reducing high risks for loss. Susan & Dennis reviewed our programs, losses and issues and listened to our desire to achieve Best Practice outcomes. Their unique style enabled a successful partnership that created our multi-layered prevention program.

Judie Tsanopoulos
Director – Workers’ Compensation & Loss Control
St Joseph’s Health System

Risk Innovator of 2009, Responsibility Award: Liberty Mutual: Risk and Insurance

Judie Tsanopoulos: Excerpts from the award.

Taking the guesswork out of what an injured employee can and cannot do makes returning to work safer for employees and less risky for employers. At St. Joseph Health System, the 3,600 bed, not-for-profit Catholic healthcare system where Judie is the director of worker’s compensation and loss control, the program has:
  • significantly reduced modified workdays at a test hospital, St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, from 3,642 in the first year to 672 in the third year, and is now being implemented in the 14 other St. Joseph Health System
  • In one hospital alone, the program has saved more than a million dollars in workers' compensation costs in the first year of operation.
The Job Function Matching Program was developed in response to what Tsanopoulos felt were vague and ambiguous work restrictions that … often were based on subjective judgments that reflected anxiety about misdiagnosis and uncertainty about the nature of the tasks an individual could safely perform. So Tsanopoulos asked: How do we know what an employee can or cannot safely do in relation to his or her physical work demands and how do we communicate that information effectively to medical providers?

An Objective Barometer create excellent outcomes for employer and worker
  • St Joseph is seeing employees coming back to work much sooner reducing lost and modified days.
  • The job assessment allowed the team to identify several re-engineering opportunities to make jobs safer and reduce risk
  • Employee morale has noticeable improved
  • Negative language describing patient’s status has been replaced with positive language. “Work restrictions” have been eliminated and now Physical abilities” are emphasized
  • There is now a safe, controlled environment that protects the individual from the fear of re-injury and preserves the patient’s dignity during recovery
  • Reduced workers compensation claims
  • Lowered litigation
  • Improves employee morale
  • Healthy employees, too!
This Responsibility Leader Award sponsored by Liberty Mutual was given fall 2009.
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