Guiding Physical Therapists to build a successful Workplace MSD Prevention Consulting Practice
Dr. Lauren Hebert, DPT, OCS, is one of America’s most experienced Physical Therapists providing musculo-skeletal disorders (MSD) prevention programs… targeting work-related low back and neck-arm overuse problems… providing MSD prevention and ergonomics consulting to more than 600 workplaces, in every industry sector, since 1982… with excellent outcomes, reducing MSD Worker Comp claims and costs.
** This format of PT consulting practice has great outcomes, saving enormous human suffering and costs… while providing the Physical Therapist with excellent consulting income ($300/hr consulting fees)… direct pay, outside of insurance billing ripoffs. This practice specialty is a safe haven from the collapse of insurance-based clinical practice. It certainly saved our practice.
Traditional insurance-payment based clinical practice is doomed in today’s hostile healthcare economy. PTs must re-define their careers, re-define their roles in society. Teaching workplaces how to avoid MSD claims, teaching employees how to avoid MSD problems, teaching aging workers how to stop and reverse musculo-skeletal aging changes… offers a great opportunity for PT’s to succeed.
Providing MSD SCHOOL… OFFICE ERGO SCHOOL… AGING WORKER SCHOOL employee self-care training programs can greatly reduce Worker Comp claims and costs… and empower-motivate employees to take much better care of themselves. These programs are very well received by our client workplaces.
Building a Work Injury Prevention & Ergonomics Practice
Helping workplaces and their people avoid musculoskeletal disorders (MSD)…and associated Worker Comp claims and costs.
** I have been doing this since 1982 at more than 600 workplaces in every type of work setting imaginable. I have trained more than 100,000 workers how to reduce MSD and restore the working-aging musculoskeletal system. I have a LOT of experience that I love to share with other PTs looking to get into this type of work.
And this is a critical practice specialty in today’s HOSTILE HEALTHCARE ECONOMY. Clinical PT patient care billed to insurances is a DOOMED business model ! That has finally become obvious. But going to workplaces to teach them how to reduce MSD and its Worker Comp costs is a HUGE untapped market opportunity for PTs. What profession is better trained that PT on musculoskeletal function and dysfunction? None. We can teach people how to avoid MSD and reverse musculoskeletal aging.
We are now forced to re-define PT !
This is a consulting business that earns $300/hr, direct pay, not third party insurance billing ripoff… and workplaces typically see 50-60-70% declines in MSD claims and costs. The client pool is enormous. The need is great. The outcomes are great.
I provide client workplaces (1) a PT-based MSD and ergonomics risk assessment of the workplace… (2) manager-supervisor seminar on their risks and how to correct them… (3) employee training on how to avoid MSD through posture risk control, personal ergonomics skills, protective biomechanics, and self-care of the working & aging body.
Specific programs include our McKenzie-based (somewhat) Back School; our Neck-Arm MSD School; Computer Ergonomics School; and (now very much in demand) Aging Worker School.
Employees are trained on-site at the workplace in classroom setup. Programs are professionally presented on PowerPoint, with supportive employee handouts. Each class is two hours. (if employer wants a shorter session, we refuse, because the employees will miss out on critical information. That reduces program effectiveness… and we refuse to provide ineffective services.)
What we are doing is… simply… ‘patient education.’ But instead of educating one patient at a time in the clinic, we are educating classrooms of employees… using basically the same presentation content. “Here is how you develop tennis elbow… and here’s how you avoid it.” We teach workers to become experts on their working musculoskeletal system. They hunger for this education because they work hard and go home sore… and are steadily getting more sore as the years pass. They don’t want to be sore. They want to earn a living and enjoy life after work. We give them that capability.
THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE is effectively MARTKETING to client workplaces. PTs are terrible at marketing. We have a structured protocol for marketing I will share on this site. This is critical to success.
The “product line”… the “Initial Eval” is a protocol for evaluating work tasks (MSD Ergo Risks Analysis) to identify the various (and obvious) risk factors for neck dysfunctions, TOC, shoulder dysfunctions, overuse disorders of the elbow-wrist-hand, and the various low back dysfunctions and derangements. These are easy to spot. We then have a list of prevention tactics from which to suggest to the workplace. This is written up in a report.
We then offer an on-site seminar for managers and supervisors on MSD and how to eliminate it from the workplace. We then provide (and this is the guts if our program) the employee 2-hr MSD School… which combines a back school and a Neck-Arm Overuse School. Office people get the Office Ergonomics School version of that. A growing number of workplaces also hire us to provide our AGING WORKER School… simply our original MSD School modified to directly address the aging musculoskeletal system.
Employees learn how they age, how they develop MSD, and the various tactics available to them to stop and reverse these issues (personal ergonomics skills, self-care tactics, and more… job task rotation, sit-stand options, workplace micro-stretching, after-work recovery stretches).
What is most unique is our newest updates to MSD patho-mechanics and prevention tactics. For instance… repetitive motion is NOT they primary cause of upper extremity MSD. Rather, it is the result of STATIC POSTURE, blocking nutrient pathway, forcing anaerobic metabolism, increasing metabolic wastes that are not cleared out because of circulation being blocked by static muscle contraction, tendon tension, and joint compression. MSD is a STATIC POSTURE DISORDER.
We also emphasize the role of forward head posture causing neurovascular compression (even mildly) at thoracic outlet, increasing MSD risks distally. We then emphasize that “perfect posture is bad for you” if you sustain it in an unchanging manner. Posture variety is far more important than proper posture.
We then recommend simply low-cost or no-cost ergonomics tactics; work task rotation, sit-to-stand rotations, workplace micros-stretching (yes, it DOES work… if you do it right !), and after-work recovery stretches.
START-UP TACTICS… 1. It is easiest to start focusing just on Office Ergonomics. You can easily build a protocol for ergonomics risk assessment for office work (several tools you can use are located in various pages on this blog), and build an employee education presentation on personal ergonomics tips and self-care tactics. This is simple, easy, a bit generic (only so many ways to sit buttocks on a chair at a desk to type on keyboard, right?) but highly effective at reducing MSD risks, pain issues, posture dysfunctions, amd reconditioning from sitting. And virtually every workplace has office employees. This is a great prevention sub-specialty to offer that gets you in the door for even more consulting once you have addresses]d office ergo risks. AND 2. Focus on smaller workplaces of 20-200 employees. It is so jch easier to get into these workplaces to provide paying work.
I TRULY WANT TO HELP OTHER SUCCEED AT THIS. I am currently easing into retirement and wish to have my experience facilitate the success of others. I can help PT’s build and succeed in the business of Workplace MSD prevention &ergonomics. This is an easy specialty to become very good at. The stratup process is the big challenge… and I love helping PTs succeed at that
I do NOT charge for offering advice. I simply want to see this specialty grow. Some PTs come to Maine to witness me providing these program at my client workplaces… as a tutorial experience.
Go to http://www.impacc.com to see how I describe this service to my client workplaces, then see our clinic web site to see how we integrate this into clinic practice at www.smartcarept.com to see how I structure my consulting practice around the clinc practice (info for PTs, info for workplaces, NLT)
** A SUGGESTION… Some are asking how best to replicate-emulate-copy my Workplace MSD Prevention & Ergonomics Consulting Practice. Why re-invent the wheel? You can invest many, many hours building your version of Workplace MSD School, Office Ergonomics School, Aging Worker School, Back School, Neck-Arm CTD School on PowerPoint, author up your presentation content, develop marketing materials, assemble supportive evidence, etc… then try to sell this to workplace clients, but unable to demonstrate to them any outcomes.
OR… you can simply acquire my entire system already fully developed and use my outcomes as a selling point to gain paying client workplaces.
I have my entire consulting practice stored on CD or thumbdrive… to allow any other PT to duplicate my practice format for themselves.
My consulting practice “kit” is all set for you to run with, once you learn its content (easy). The challenge is to effectively market this to potential client workplaces. Most PTs are NOT very good at that. But I am. After doing this since 1982, I have successfully overcome every client objection, barrier, resistance you can think of. You can use my web site to allow your client workplaces to examine the preview and supportive evidence. Since you a using my program, you can use my track record of outcomes (encompassing hundreds of workplaces over many years).
If you paid $600 for this “kit”, you recover that cost with one-half day of providing billed services to a client workplace. How often does that happen with a ROI ?
Our consulting practice “kit”…_PracticeStartupKit
Want more info… email me at Lhebertpt@prexar.com