What Is A Resource Navigator?

A Resource Navigator (ResNav) is the main point of contact for the injured or ill worker and supports them throughout their recovery. Each worker who enrolls in RETAIN will have free services provided by a ResNav.

What Does a Resource Navigator Do?

  • Assist injured workers with various strategies such as stay-at-work/return-to-work (SAW/RTW) counseling, identifying barriers, and/or helpful resources while the worker recovers from an illness or work-related injury   
  • Consult and communicate with the injured or ill worker, their treating doctors/clinicians, employers, and other parties involved in the worker’s recuperation  
  • Monitor the progress of an injured or ill worker's recovery  
  • Collaborate with the injured or ill worker and employer to take steps to prevent a recurrence or aggravation of the injury or illness   
  • In collaboration with the injured worker, develop a SAW/RTW plan   
  • Assist to resolve any issues or disputes related to RTW   
  • Support, inform, and guide the injured or ill worker during their recuperation process

Resource Navigators and Employees

ResNavs work together with the worker to create an individualized SAW/RTW plan. Since each worker has unique needs, ResNavs do not utilize a cookie cutter approach. Rather, we listen to the injured or ill worker’s concerns and work together on ways to resolve and enhance their recovery. An example of a SAW/RTW Plan can be found here (link to sample SAW/RTW plan [make a PDF of the plan once we have it completely finalized).

SAW/RTW Plans may include:

  • Specific workplace accommodations customized for the injured or ill worker 
  • Modified work schedule  
  • Steps to taking occupational training if the worker chooses a career change or a different position within the same company.

Resource Navigators and Employers

If the worker wants or needs the ResNav to be in communication with his or her employer, the ResNav and employer can discuss topics such as job and task modifications, temporary and permanent work-place solutions, retraining, ergonomics, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance, and other work-related solutions. The ResNav can meet with the employer in-person, at the job site, via phone, or email.

Successful SAW/RTW programs have benefits for both employees and employers, including an estimated $8-10 savings for every $1 invested in such programs. Specific financial and other benefits of SAW/RTW programs include:

  • Reducing:
    • Employee absence 
    • Costs related to training new employees
    • Medical and disability costs
    • Potential for litigation
  • Increasing
    • Employee engagement, self-esteem, and morale
    • Retention of valuable employees
    • Productivity by decreasing lost work time

SAW/RTW programs are most effective when combined with:

  • Injury prevention and management strategies
  • Stay-at-work strategies such as health, wellness, and prevention initiatives
  • Strong support from management at all levels

Resource Navigators and Treating Doctors/Clinicians

RETAIN serves as a trusted partner to treating clinicians who want to see their patients recover and succeed by returning to the workforce.

We are here to complement treatment plans, not compete with treatment. We do not provide medical services; rather, we aim to save you time and effort by taking on the management of your patients’ SAW/RTW plans so that you can concentrate on patient care.

Our approach is to work collaboratively with injured and ill patients, their employers, and treating clinicians to discuss work capacity, RTW Plans, and how to move things forward as soon as medically feasible.

Resource Navigators and Collaboration with Other Parties

We can guide and assist injured and ill workers with what to expect from the health care system and other parties such as:

  • Workers Compensation
  • Insurance Carriers
  • Caretakers
  • Benefits counseling

To learn more about how a Resource Navigator can help you, contact us at 619-304-1201 or email us at Info@CaliRETAIN.org