expert interviews Apr 07, 2022

Kevin Cairns is the Founder of Metriks Education. His company delivers high level educational programs for healthcare professionals, specializing in the area of functional capacity, impairment, and disability evaluations. They also provide a time-saving software platform and tools that enhance the way you provide your services. 

Next week, Kevin and I will be co-hosting a webinar about non-traditional ergonomics services and the overall employer/workplace journey on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. This is going to be valuable training, with lots of value and takeaways. However, spots are limited. You can save your spot right now by clicking here.

In preparation for next week's training, Kevin will give us just a brief introduction to the opportunity and potential of these types of services. These services fall outside the traditional scope of ergonomics but are still aligned with what we do as Ergonomics Professionals and add another revenue stream to what you're doing. An excerpt of our interview follows.

Q: Can you tell us how you got into the Kinesiology and Health Service Provider world?

KC: I did an undergrad degree in kinesiology and took the normal path that people seem to do, which is to work in a clinic. After a little while, I realized it wasn't really the thing that I wanted to do full-time. I wanted to have something that’s more autonomous, and it turned out that one of the clinics that I worked at had the very first ever computerized Functional Capacity Evaluation system in Canada. I saw that as an opportunity to do something that Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Chiropractors who were working in the clinic with me weren't really doing, which was doing the measurement piece and working on that whole Return-to-Work piece.

Wellness Wheel Tool

Q: One of the things that you introduced to the Accelerate Program was this idea of the Wellness Wheel. Can you share a little bit more about this tool?

KC: The Wellness Wheel was a collaboration between a couple of tech companies, and then we had a service provider who was giving us on-the-ground input. The idea was to encapsulate all the things that go into keeping people well. I mean, the focus of it was work but realistically, it could be applied to  an older person and keeping them healthy. 

We set it up like a clock. So you would have a 12 o'clock, which is the ideal. That means everything is going great, and we quantify that as “Well at Work”. At that point you're investing in the ideas of health promotion and keeping yourself healthy. And then at the bottom of the clock, that's where you're getting injured and you require some treatment. 

That was the general concept. The purpose was to bring in this idea that injury or health wasn't a single domain. That it wasn't exclusive to the physical side. That it also included the cognitive and behavioral piece. And having all three of those components was really critical to helping people stay at work or return to work. Or even if you want to think about it in terms of activities of daily living, keeping people doing the things that they want to do.

The System

Q: Can you give us a step-by-step process of how your whole system works?

KC: We actually actually do the measurement tools, so we have the push-pull tools and the range of motion tools so that you can do both the job analysis measurement as well as the person’s measurements. We also built a software application that collects all of the data about your person and generates the report. That reporting system can be used for a full Return-to-Work assessment or for a pre-employment assessment. We're doing many treatment progress assessments, which is this idea of tracking a person as they're going through your rehabilitation program. And of course, we provide the education to teach you how to do that piece.

So the idea behind the Wellness Wheel is that there's 12 time periods on this, but there will be assets behind each Cogs. So if you click on the Job Demands Analysis, you would get all of the marketing material behind Job Demands Analysis. There would be a description of what that service is and how that service is utilized. So this Wellness Wheel can then turn into an engagement piece that you could use as a service provider to sell the services to an employer who doesn't really understand those things. 

I haven't mentioned the cognitive piece, but that to me is one of the more exciting and interesting pieces. BrainFx does the cognitive. So everything that I do on the physical side, they do on the cognitive side. And so they measure cognitive ability. We're also updating the Cognitive Demands Analysis, which involves looking at things like: What's the stress level at this particular job? What are the executive functioning requirements for this particular job? So the idea is really combining both the physical and cognitive together because we're seeing a change in landscape. Now, there are less and less jobs in the physical domain and more and more in the cognitive domain. 

Service Opportunities You Can Leverage

Q: What are the typical types of services that clinics or healthcare providers use to get people moving on that wheel?

KC: In addition to walking people through that process, the inner portion of the wheel was really directed towards the healthcare providers and the services that they could offer people. The idea with the wheel was to get everyone back up to 12 o'clock. So if you're at 3 o'clock, we want to get you back to 12 o'clock. If you're at 9 o'clock, we want to get you back to 12. So there are early self-identification services. 

This actually comes from a company called Highmark Interactive. They have a phone app that your patients can utilize and they can fill out some basic questionnaires. So as they start to see deteriorations in their well-being, that then tells them to come and seek more services from the healthcare providers. Highmark is trying to introduce this into the workplace so that workers are actually using it across the map and the employer knows when people are starting to deteriorate.

And then it progresses into things like ergonomics. Ergonomics is actually the only item that appears twice, both at 3 o'clock and at 9 o'clock. So it's something that service providers can introduce on both ends of the spectrum. Sometimes, the only ergonomics that people think of are the nuts and bolts changes to the workplace, like moving a mezzanine or doing something like that. However, if we think of it as the other side, ergonomics can be about matching the worker to the workplace. This means that we're actually making changes to the worker and not making changes to the workplace. When we start to think about changing the worker, then we need to analyze both the worker and the workplace. That's kind of where my services come in. This includes the Job Demands Analysis service, which would be measuring the workplace; and the Functional Capacity Evaluation, which would be measuring the worker.

These tools can help identify people as they're deteriorating so you can introduce services early on. The full Functional Capacity Evaluation can also be used more at the end of a treatment plan to identify whether traditional treatment is the path that we want to go down or we want to look at doing Work Conditioning, where we're offering more tailored rehabilitation that's very specific to the needs of the client in terms of their Return-to-work.


Q: For people who are just considering jumping into this, what's the first step to moving forward with this?

KC: Typically, people will do the education piece first. They get the certification in either the Job Demands Analysis or the Functional Capacity Evaluation. That kind of leads them into deciding what kind of hardware they need to do this assessment for. And then we can start talking about how to insert this into their current business and how much time they need to set aside to be able to do this kind of stuff. So we do spend time with the people that we work with to get all those pieces together so they'll be successful, because the system that we have will also produce the reports for them. We try to make it so that it's kind of like end-to-end care so that we can get the provider from 0-100 and be able to offer these kinds of services. Nobody wants to spend their evenings writing reports, so we're really trying to streamline that process as much as possible. 

Want More?

Don't forget to sign-up for the FREE training here.

There you have it! That’s my interview with Kevin Cairns of Metriks Education. Remember that our ideal clients can be in various stages of readiness for our services. So sometimes, before employers invest in the services that we love doing, we must help them “put out some fires” first—some of which may require non-traditional ergonomic solutions. If you only have one service offering, then you’re leaving money on the table. You can leverage Job Demands Analysis, Functional Capacity Evaluation, and Work Conditioning to diversify your services and increase your revenue. 

So do you see yourself offering these types of services to your clients? If you do, I highly recommend looking at Kevin’s company. Metriks provides the system, support, and tools, which can help you streamline your processes and saves you time. If you'd like to get in touch with Kevin, check out his website for more info.

If you’re interested to know more about what we discussed in this interview, then join us next week, April 13th, for our LIVE training. Kevin will talk about the Wellness Wheel and show us where the opportunities are for healthcare service providers. It's really never been a better time to learn about all these different types of services that you can add to your skill set.  Just head to this link to sign up for the FREE webinar.


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