First, let’s get our terminology straight. The terms “job profile” or “job description” are often used synonymously. These two terms refer to a more-or-less complete depiction of the tasks, physical and perhaps cognitive demands, and environmental characteristics of a particular position at a particular employer.
A well-designed job profile has great potential value, but the truth is that many employers have not expended the resources and time to develop comprehensive and quantitative databases of all their company’s positions.
In my experience, many jobs have no available profiles whatsoever, and when they do exist they are often incomplete, qualitative, sketchy documents on paper that provide little useful, actionable information.
Why is a Good Job Profile Important?
A good job profile describes every task and function of the job with detailed physical demands for each task. A good job profile can:
- set out the requirements of the job which can optionally be used for post-offer testing
- identify ergonomic risks that can be modified to avoid injuries in high-intensity job tasks
- explicitly document the body regions most susceptible to injury for each job, allowing for targeted fitness programs that can proactively reduce injuries. Preventing injuries is preferable to treating them!
Job profiles need to be presented in a “user-friendly” digital format, using accessible graphic displays and even annotated videos of the job being performed. Users need to be able to manipulate the data to find exactly the level of detailed information they require.
Easily Share Roadmap For Recovery
If and when an occupational injury occurs, the job profile should be electronically shared with the employer’s claim and medical managers, whether the employer self-manages claims, or these services are performed by an external TPA, carrier, or by other managed care entities. This is invaluable as the claim/medical team now has a “roadmap” for the recovery and rehabilitation process, aiming to achieve the specific physical demand goals depicted in the job profile.
The job profile can and should be securely shared electronically with treating clinicians (physicians, therapists, etc.) who now have accurate information to rely on for treatment planning purposes.
- Progress can be easily monitored against job demands, enabling timely decisions about restrictions/limitations and return-to-work capabilities, as well as an assessment of the efficacy of the current treatment regimen.
- Should the claimant achieve maximal medical improvement short of his/her present job demands, the residual capabilities can be automatically compared to all other available jobs in the employer’s database to match the claimant to other suitable employment available at his/her company (or elsewhere ).
Job Profiles Are Critical To Optimally Manage Human Capital
In summary, job profiles are critical for employers to optimally manage their valuable human capital proactively to maintain fitness, safety, and productivity, as well as for the cost-effective management of medical recovery, rehabilitation and return to work when occupational injury or illness occurs.
Jacob Lazarovic MD, Medical Advisor at Amaxx LLC, Chief Medical Officer at MyAbilities, has considerable experience in managed care, including 18 years as chief medical officer at Broadspire , a leading TPA. His department produced clinical guidelines and criteria to support sound medical claim and case management practices; participated in analysis, reporting and benchmarking of outcomes and quality improvement initiatives; developed educational and training programs that updated the clinical knowledge and skills of claim professionals and nurses; provided expertise to enhances the medical bill review process; and operated a comprehensive and unique in-house physician review (peer review) service. He has been published extensively in industry journals and has held several senior medical management positions at companies including HealthAmerica, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Florida and Vivra Specialty Partners