Workers Comp Email Still Best Way To Document Communications – Five Quick Rules
Workers Comp email still provides the best way to document files. The sender and receiver can both have documentation of the communication in writing. Some carriers and TPA’s do not add the email directly into the file. They instead document what was said in the email.
These quick workers comp email rules are for insurance personnel and for anyone that needs to communicate with an insurance carrier whether workers comp or not.
Any carrier or TPA personnel reading this – check with your department’s manual as it may differ from the five rules. Your manual always wins.
My advice to anyone calling an insurance company or to anyone working in an insurance company remains the same as I recommended 10 years ago – use email – avoid phoning if possible.
The five quick rules for workers comp emails and the file are:
- Compose an email as if it may show up in court someday. As a workers comp expert witness, I have read internal emails that were damning, to say the least. Do not consider an email private. We have all learned from social media that what you post cannot be taken back.
- Always keep an exact copy of the email received for documentation purposes. Your own documentation of the email may not match its intent. Even if you have to cut and paste an email right into your notes, do it. Old school -print it out.
- Do not use company email for personal items. See #1 above. Reading through notes as an expert witness, I came across an insurance worker discussing their upcoming divorce with a family member through the insurance carrier’s email. (ouch!)
- Do not use a provider like Yahoomail, Gmail, or Hotmail at your workstation. Anything that goes through your company’s server is stored somewhere. I have seen those emails as part of a file’s documentation while serving as an expert witness for a TPA. Ouch!
- Do not use your company’s servers while using your phone for personal items. See #4 for why. Make sure you are on your personal phone provider’s network. Any supervisor or manager may not like the overuse of your personal phone while at work.
- Bonus – These rules still apply if you are telecommuting. Sometimes we become more relaxed while working out of our homes. Bill Gates once said – when you send an email it is stored on at least five servers.
Next week I am going to cover my 3-3-3 rule for workers comp email or any type of communications. See you next week.
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