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When the pharmaceutical medical model fails your employees

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By Eric B. Michael, Senior Partner, KYEL Group Inc.

In the early 1990s, I was treating many patients in the clinical setting suffering from similar mechanisms of injury.  Although they worked in diverse industrial settings, the root causes of their injuries had many parallels.  I questioned how I could help prevent these recurring injuries.  How could I intervene and make a difference in peoples’ lives? How could I assist industry in improving safety metrics and improving key profitability measures?

After visiting multiple manufacturing facilities, I was convinced that most of the injuries I was treating in the clinic could be prevented in the work environment. As the old adage goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In ergonomic terms, paraphrasing OSHA, “for every $1 spent in prevention is $3 earned.” I could see that providing quality onsite services, making ergonomic changes, educating employees and working together with employers could bring real results to both the employee and employer. I could see that employees needed to feel empowered to make a difference in their health, safety and quality of life. I could see employers needed assistance in empowering employees: to take an active role in improving their wellbeing; to become critical thinkers; to improve the process; and to drive out wasted motion. Rehabilitation could no longer be done as it had always been done.

The traditional medical model in the clinic is no longer effective. By the time patients with industry- based injuries come through the door of the clinic, there are unnecessary losses — lost time for healing, lost time for proper treatment, lost time from the job and lost time from life. The companies are losing profits and the patients are losing quality of life. 

In 1998 the idea for KYEL Group Inc. was born because something had to change. KYEL Group Inc. is a therapist owned and run organization. As therapists with orthopedic training, we understand the acute and chronic types of injuries and how to treat these injures. After 30 years of experience in industry we understand occupational tasks and how to adapt jobs to prevent injuries. The improved health, productivity, quality, scrap rates, sales, morale and presenteeism is tremendous. We have found what works!

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