Updated Study Shows Long-Term Use of ODG Reduced Days Lost per Employee from 7.4 to 5.2
May 27, 2010 –The May 2010 issue of the Journal of Occupational and
Environmental Medicine reports on long-term outcomes from
implementation of a disability management program at Shell Oil Company
using the Medgate software along with Official Disability Guidelines
According to the study, under the Shell Disability Management Program,
case managers used Official Disability Guidelines (ODG) to set
targets for an employee’s return to work, which the authors say has
resulted in more objective and consistent expectations for an employee’s
length of absence. The results showed that even small changes in median
duration of absence can lead to significant days gained if the ICD
diagnostic category according to ODG is a frequent reason for absence.
Between 2002 and 2008, absence episodes/100 employees decreased from 37.4
to 25.7 among hourly workers. Days lost per employee decreased from 7.4 to
5.2. Transitional duty according to ODG recommendation for “Capabilities
& Activity Modifications for Restricted Work,” resulted in 6042 days
saved in 2006 and 11,438 days in 2008, with direct cost savings of more
than $4.1 million from 2006 to 2008.
The Shell Disability Management Program emphasizes absence tracking,
timely return-to-work, and facilitation of Transitional duty. Absenteeism
decreased significantly after Disability Management Program
implementation, particularly among hourly employees, with an estimated
A complete copy of the study is available online from the publisher
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins at www.joem.org.
Go to Current Issue (May 2010), page 544, “The Shell Disability
Management Program: A Five-Year Evaluation of the Impact on Absenteeism
and Return-on-Investment.” It is also available on Medline. (Wendt,
About the Journal of Occupational and
The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (JOEM)
is the official journal of the American College of Occupational and
Environmental Medicine (ACOEM). Edited
to serve as a guide for physicians, nurses, and researchers, the
clinically oriented research articles are an excellent source for new
ideas, concepts, techniques, and procedures that can be readily applied in
the industrial or commercial employment setting.
ACOEM members can access content published in JOEM by
logging on at the ACOEM website www.acoem.org.
Medgate Inc. is one of the premier developers of Occupational Health &
Safety (OH&S) software solutions and professional services.
According to Medgate literature, "Medgate’s Case Management
Module allows companies to record and track for both occupational and
non-occupational injuries and illnesses. The module interfaces with Work
Loss Data Institute’s Official Disability Guidelines (ODG). These
evidence-based guidelines are a valuable reference tool for determining
appropriate absence lengths for various illnesses and injuries. The
guidelines show Return To Work Best Practice Guidelines, helping to
provide a framework for facilitating timely return-to-work."
More information is available at www.medgate.com.
About Official Disability Guidelines:
Evidence-based, independent and
easy to use, the complete ODG Treatment in Workers’ Comp is
available for $325 on the Web or in textbook format, with multi-user
discounts available. The Official
Disability Guidelines (without the treatment guidelines) is available
alone at the cost of $195. Raw
data files for integration with internal software applications or for
computer-automated benchmarking are also available.
Contact WLDI regarding licensing fees.
For more information, go to www.worklossdata.com
or contact Work Loss Data Institute (WLDI), publisher of the ODG product
line. WLDI is an independent database development company focused on
workplace health and productivity, based in Encinitas, CA.
Wendt JK, Tsai SP, Bhojani FA,
Cameron DL. The Shell Disability Management Program: a five-year
evaluation of the impact on absenteeism and return-on-investment. J
Occup Environ Med. 2010 May;52(5):544-50.
Shell Health Americas, Shell Oil Company, Houston, TX
77252-2463, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of the Shell
Disability Management Program (DMP) on U.S. manufacturing employee
absenteeism. METHODS: We estimated absence episodes and days lost per
employee from 2004 to 2008 compared to pre-program values in 2002, and
productivity gains from transitional duty (TD). RESULTS: Between 2002 and
2008, absence episodes/100 employees decreased from 37.4 to 25.7 among
hourly workers but increased from 9.7 to 13.1 among staff employees. Days
lost per employee decreased from 7.4 to 5.2 for hourly employees and were
virtually unchanged for staff employees. TD resulted in 6042 days saved in
2006 and 11,438 days in 2008, with direct cost savings of more than $4.1
million from 2006 to 2008. CONCLUSIONS: The Shell DMP emphasizes absence
tracking, timely return-to-work, and facilitation of TD. Absenteeism
decreased significantly after DMP implementation, particularly among
hourly employees, with an estimated 2.4:1 return-on-investment.