Doctors can’t calculate an accurate impairment rating without the proper tools. Here at RateFast, we’ve reviewed a lot (a lot) of impairment ratings, and in our experience, one reason why doctors produce incorrect unjustifiable ratings is because they did not take the necessary measurements.
Accurate impairment ratings require accurate measurements, and to get the right measurements, you need the right tools.
Tools to Calculate Impairment Ratings
- Height and weight scale and blood pressure cuff — You need basic measurements and the worker’s basic vital signs.
- Tape measure — Made of flexible material, like fabric.
- Goniometer — Used for measuring joint ranges of motion. We prefer using goniometer apps on our phones. If you have an Android phone, you can download the RateFast Simple Goniometer for free from the Google Play store. If you have an iPhone, check the Apple App Store soon!
- Inclinometer — An inclinometer is used to measure the spine ranges of motion. You can also use use two phone goniometers, or one digital master/slave inclinometer.
- Grip dynomometer — Here in California, this is only for pain-free cases, greater than one year from date of injury or surgery.
- Pinch dynomometer — Like the grip dynomometer, this is only for pain-free cases, greater than one year from date of injury or surgery.
- Monofilament set — Be sure to have a 10 gram member in the set.
- Two point nerve discriminator — You can use a bent paperclip measured to 6 mm distance.
That does it. Once you get these tools, you’ll be ready to gather the correct measurements for your impairment ratings like a pro.
What about the rating itself?
Of course, to actually calculate the impairment rating in California (and many other states), you’ll also need the A.M.A. Guides 5th Edition. Then, you’ll need some time to plow through all the tables, diagrams, and charts.
Alternatively, you can join RateFast, and let our impairment rating specialists calculate the rating for you.