What is Return to Work (RTW) Program?
A RTW program is based on the philosophy that many workers can safely perform meaningful and safe work as part of their recovery process The key to a successful RTW program is a partnership among workers, employers, healthcare providers, and when required, the WCB. Return to work options can involve transitional duties (temporary work tasks that are meaningful and productive) and/or a gradual return to work.
As a healthcare provider you have an important role in helping to maintain the health of your patients, and to promote activities and plans that benefit their health, active recovery, and RTW in a safe and timely manner. Developing strategies for occupational rehabilitation begins with the patient's first visit, guided by the principle that safe and timely RTW is the desired outcome.
The RTW process may be initiated at the request of the injured worker, the employer, WCB staff, or the worker's healthcare provider, any of whom can identify an opportunity for work as part of recovery. WCB supports are available to assist in the planning, coordination, and monitoring of a return-to-work plan.
What is the role of the Healthcare Professional in a RTW Program?
- Diagnose and treat the illness or injury following an evidence based approach
- Advise and support the injured worker
- Communicate a worker’s capabilities with the worker and the employer
- Work with other involved healthcare professionals to facilitate the injured worker’s improvement and safe return to work in a timely manner
- Complete the WCB reports promptly and send them directly to the WCB
Resources for Healthcare Providers
If you are a healthcare provider and would like to speak with a WCB healthcare consultant to better understand your role in the WCB process please call 204-954-4369.
- RTW for Better Recovery
- Manitoba Medical Association's position statement "Return to Work After Occupational Injury"
- CMA Policy "The Physician's Role in Helping Patients Return to Work After an Illness or Injury"
- Gordon Waddell and Kim Burton 2006 "Is Work Good for your Health and Well-Being"
- Institute of Work and Health