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Safe Return to Productive Work After COVID-19: Is a Functional Capacity Evaluation Needed?

Response timing and objectivity are critical when workers experience job performance difficulty after a serious health condition like COVID-19. Studies indicate that physicians under-estimate work-related abilities after performing a clinical evaluation, especially when chronic pain and other symptoms limit performance.[1][2][3] Underestimating a worker’s abilities contributes to unnecessary work disability and lost...
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WorkAbility Releases New Hand Dexterity Test!

WorkAbility Rate of Manipulation Test (WRMT) is brief test of hand dexterity that has a compact mini-board design and brief protocols for turning and placing tests that only take 3 minutes for 3 trials. Performance during turning or placing sub-tests is timed separately for the right and left hands to...
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Do Your Workers Receive Opioids or Job-Specific Physical Therapy?

All too often, injured workers are over-prescribed medications for pain, rather than consulting with physical therapists who will emphasize self-management of symptoms, physical fitness, and safe work participation. Salt et al. compared treatments for low back pain (LBP) and found that opioids were over-utilized, compared to safer alternative therapies such...
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WorkerFIT Launches Job Function and Worker AbilityFIT Surveys

Response time and early intervention are critical when workers report job performance problems due to health conditions. There is strong evidence that disability duration is reduced with integrated care that emphasizes service coordination and workplace modifications (accommodations) for workers with musculoskeletal or mental health conditions. [1] WorkerFIT has launched an innovative...
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Improving Workforce Participation for Persons with Differing Abilities

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). This year’s theme, America’s Workforce: Empowering All, recognizes the importance of removing access barriers to increase participation in the workforce by persons with disabilities. Currently, we have more open jobs in our economy than we have job seekers. Just last week, the US Department...
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Relating ORS Occupational Demands to Residual Functional Capacity

Rick Wickstrom, PT, DPT, CPE was invited to Washington, D.C. by the National Academy of Sciences to present and discuss residual functional capacity with its Standing Committee of Medical Experts and SSA staff in the Office of Disability Policy. Other invited guest experts included Melanie T. Ellexson, HDHc, MBA, OTR/L,...
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How Does Occupational Accountable Care Differ From Usual Care?

With USUAL CARE, return to work decisions are based primarily on subjective complaints and physical exam findings that are poor predictors of work and lifestyle functioning: No pre-injury baseline of musculoskeletal fitness is available to monitor recovery progress.“Sick Notes” written to excuse “patients” from work fail to indicate which job...
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Adopting a Societal Approach to Promote Return to Work and Daily Function

Injuries and illnesses that result in lost time from work cost the US economy about $589 billion per year (Integrated Benefits Institute, 2012). Early intervention to promote stay-at-work and return-to-work plays a significant role in a person’s health, recovery from injury or illness, reduction of disability, increased productivity, and financial...
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Welcome to 2018!

WorkAbility Systems, Inc. experienced some impressive developments in 2017 to position itself for bold moves in occupational health. Together with our WorkAbility providers and WorkerFIT partner, we are raising the bar to promote workforce safety, wellness, and productivity from hire to retire. Find out how WorkAbility Systems and its members took...
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MEASURING FUNCTIONAL PROGRESS IN RESPONSE TO PAIN INTERVENTION

by Rick Wickstrom, PT, DPT, CPE, CDMS Assess Physical Function and Risks BEFORE Starting Opioid Therapy! Opioids are commonly prescribed to alleviate pain. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 38% of all non-institutionalized adults in the US used prescription opioids in 2015 (1). Nearly 20% of all patients...
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Safe Return to Productive Work After COVID-19: Is a Functional Capacity Evaluation Needed?

Response timing and objectivity are critical when workers experience job performance difficulty after a serious health condition like COVID-19. Studies indicate that physicians under-estimate work-related abilities after performing a clinical evaluation, especially when chronic pain and other symptoms limit performance.[1][2][3] Underestimating a worker’s abilities contributes to unnecessary work disability and lost productivity. There is useful evidence to consider from Current Concepts in Occupational Health Physical Therapy for managing injuries or illnesses … Continue reading Safe Return to Productive Work After COVID-19: Is a Functional Capacity Evaluation Needed?

WorkAbility Releases New Hand Dexterity Test!

WorkAbility Rate of Manipulation Test (WRMT) is brief test of hand dexterity that has a compact mini-board design and brief protocols for turning and placing tests that only take 3 minutes for 3 trials. Performance during turning or placing sub-tests is timed separately for the right and left hands to objectively assess for performance differences. WRMT contains two mini-boards and 20 cylinders. This product was designed by Rick Wickstrom, PT, … Continue reading WorkAbility Releases New Hand Dexterity Test!

Do Your Workers Receive Opioids or Job-Specific Physical Therapy?

All too often, injured workers are over-prescribed medications for pain, rather than consulting with physical therapists who will emphasize self-management of symptoms, physical fitness, and safe work participation. Salt et al. compared treatments for low back pain (LBP) and found that opioids were over-utilized, compared to safer alternative therapies such as exercise and physical therapy that improve function.[1] Frogner et. al. found that when LBP patients saw a physical therapist … Continue reading Do Your Workers Receive Opioids or Job-Specific Physical Therapy?

WorkerFIT Launches Job Function and Worker AbilityFIT Surveys

Response time and early intervention are critical when workers report job performance problems due to health conditions. There is strong evidence that disability duration is reduced with integrated care that emphasizes service coordination and workplace modifications (accommodations) for workers with musculoskeletal or mental health conditions. [1] WorkerFIT has launched an innovative Job Function Survey and a Worker AbilityFIT Survey to help improve job readiness of employees with work-related or non-occupational health … Continue reading WorkerFIT Launches Job Function and Worker AbilityFIT Surveys

Improving Workforce Participation for Persons with Differing Abilities

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). This year’s theme, America’s Workforce: Empowering All, recognizes the importance of removing access barriers to increase participation in the workforce by persons with disabilities. Currently, we have more open jobs in our economy than we have job seekers. Just last week, the US Department of Labor announced the award of $19 million for RETAIN demonstration projects to eight state agencies to help keep Americans who are … Continue reading Improving Workforce Participation for Persons with Differing Abilities


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