How to use the Official Disability Guidelines

Published on 13 Dec 2018

Did you know the Official Disability Guidelines - or ODG - can help drive best practice treatment and successful outcomes for injured workers?

The ODG provides evidence based, unbiased guidelines to help injured workers return to work efficiently and durably.

By following the guidelines, medical treatment is streamlined, ensuring injured workers receive the correct level of support and corresponding treatment as quickly as possible. 

This helps the worker achieve a positive outcome by returning to work in the best possible physical and mental health. 

Operating for 22 years, ODG has more than 100,000 users worldwide.

In Australia, local, state and the federal government agencies have adopted the program, including the NSW Government’s iCare scheme.  

Adoption of the Official Disability Guidelines has led to: 

  • Significant medical cost savings of 25% to 60% 
  • Average disability duration down by 34% to 66% (median duration down 30%) 
  • Access to care increased 42%  
  • Insurance premiums decreased 40% to 49% 

How has this been achieved?
ODG treatment pathways are specific to an injury or impacted body part with the use of active treatment rather than passive.

Active interventions involve any kind of treatment where the worker is physically involved, such as exercise programs, yoga, functional exercises and work conditioning.

These methods lead to better clinical outcomes and provide an objective, evidenced based resource to use in treatment discussions with GPs and treating parties.

Driving all parties to deliver best practice treatment in line with appropriate timeframes. 

Passive physiotherapy interventions are techniques or machines often performed on the worker, rather than by them. 

The active interventions give workers and opportunity to increase their strength and function, and prevent further injury while assisting with recovery.

The overall return to work success rates was 64.7% for those adhering to active treatment programs versus 36.5% following a passive regime.  

A paid subscription to the guidelines is able to be accessed here.

APM has full access to the ODG’s in the management of each of their rehabilitation files and can work with you to find how the content and practices can be best applied to your workplace.

APM WorkCare uses the Official Disability Guidelines, a biopsychosocial approach and APMiQ (a digital psychosocial app) to identify all barriers impacting a worker’s recovery.

We create a recovery program which addresses these and achieves a successful, efficient and durable outcome. 
Contact APM today to learn more about getting the most out of the Official Disability Guidelines in your workplace.