Work Conditioning Program: Safe and Efficient Return-to-Work For Employees
As its name suggests, a return to work program is a plan to safely reintegrate an injured worker to his or her workplace. The goal is to return an injured employee to their original job as soon as they are medically able. Return to work programs afford benefits to the worker and their employer. People need to feel productive, and generally want to return to their previous level of function and employers want their employees back to work ASAP.
The Centers For Advanced Orthopaedics- MMI Division initially founded by Dr. Frank Nisenfeld and Dr. Mark Chilton always had the philosophy of, “it’s human nature that people need to feel productive and appreciated.” Employers and employees feel confident when their team of physicians and therapists encourage the employee back to a safe return to work. Feeling productive and capable of work also affects other aspects of your life such as relationships, creativity, and of course your energy level and muscle function. Being sedentary, or sitting around watching tv, and over-eating is a detriment to overall mental and physical health. Being productive gives one purpose and a reason to get up in the morning. When you feel well and have a purpose you focus on the big picture such as, getting the car paid off, meeting the monthly living expenses, or taking that much needed vacation. Even though we all love to have a day off, anxiety and depression increases when there are feelings of hopelessness over their ability to return to work. Fast forward thirty years since the inception of The Centers For Advanced Orthopaedics- MMI Division’s philosophy of life, purpose and productivity still exists with the current medical providers, rehab team, and workers compensation administrative staff.
The Work Conditioning Program is designed to comprehensively rehabilitate the injured worker to a physical level that allows full duty return- to- work. Our approach provides a solid team effort involving the treating physician, employer, physical therapist, and the insurance representative to return the client to productive employment in a cost effective and efficient manner. We use state of the art software allowing us to better address accurate and specific restrictions and progress based on current limitations and abilities. The timely and functional documentation assists the doctor with supporting a quicker progression for work release. Once orthopedic physical and occupational therapy is completed the injured worker will quickly transition into the return to work conditioning program. Functional progress notes are completed weekly to inform the medical and case management team on the progress being made. Easy to read graphs and objective functional data will outline readiness or limitations that remain. The good news is that once the injured worker completes the PT/ OT rehab they can remain at MMI to work on physical deficiencies that prevent the patient from full work release. MMI Division also has the designated administrative team who have proven to be very responsive and efficient in getting this needed information out to adjustors and employers. The functional progress notes provide the physician the objective data on work ability rather than guessing about restrictions. Accurate restrictions based on current limitations reduces the days away from work demands.
Finally, the transition from general orthopedic rehab into a work conditioning program allows the physician to closely monitor the functional improvement gains in the rehab department through weekly data gathering for supporting a safe return to work decision.
For more information or questions regarding The Centers For Advanced Orthopaedics-MMI Division Work Conditioning Programs please call 301-694-8311.