[retinaicon icon=”beaker” size=”small, medium, large” circle=”true or false” color=”#999999″ background=”#efefef” align=”center”]

Custom FileMaker Go iPad App Helps FMS Health & Safety Identify Dysfunctional Movement to Reduce Injuries and Workers’ Compensation Costs

Mike Contreras would like to teach the world to move. Fluidly. Adeptly. With no hitches. No pain. “Our research — and the research out there — shows that if you can improve how somebody moves, you can improve everything about the quality of their life.” Thanks to a custom FileMaker Go iPad App built by eXcelisys, Contreras’s data now moves fluidly and adeptly too.

Workers Lifting Items in Factory

To create a culture of movement that helps people move better, reduces the potential of injury, and enables businesses to realize the full potential of their workforce ~ FMS Health & Safety Mission Statement

A Battalion Chief with the Orange County Fire Authority and founder of FMS Health & Safety, Contreras began exploring the intersection of health and movement in 2006 when he took charge of the Fire Authority’s wellness and fitness program. As Contreras worked with Fire Academy recruits and their workers’ compensation claims, he wondered if there was a way to predict — and thus prevent — future injury.

Functional Movement Screen Visual

 

Contreras’ investigation led him to the Functional Movement Screen. Developed by physical therapist Gray Cook and athletic trainer Lee Burton, the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) is a popular assessment tool used by trainers to identify risk factors for injury. FMS first took off as a screening tool for athletes. It’s used at the NFL and NHL combines, said Contreras. “The thought was, before we take them out full steam ahead, let’s see if there are limitations and fix them. Then we can go play hard.”

FMS utilizes seven movement screens that test the biomechanics of the hips, core, shoulders, spine, knees and ankles. Using the tests, a screener can identify dysfunctional movement patterns, weaknesses and asymmetries so corrective exercises can be prescribed to restore functional movement, thus decreasing the risk of musculoskeletal injury.

After Contreras instituted FMS at the firehouse, injury rates dipped and workers’ compensation claims decreased. The success of the FMS program put a fire in his belly and in December 2015, Contreras founded FMS Health & Safety to bring functional movement to the masses.

Health & Safety Word Cloud

Law and Order

Initially, FMS Health & Safety targeted tactical athletes (like firefighters, police and the military) as well as other industries (like manufacturers and utility companies) who sought to minimize work-related injuries to reduce workers’ compensation costs. Later, FMS Health & Safety took on corporate clients interested in employee wellness. “Our program is for anybody who wants to improve the movement and, ultimately, the capabilities and capacity of their workers,” said Contreras.

Medics carry worker on stretcher

 

In the early days, FMS Health & Safety screeners used paper scorecards to collect test data. Afterward, they keyed the results into Excel. “As we took on more clients, this got to be problematic,” said Contreras. “A spreadsheet is great for one client, but one client with 3,000 employees in 70 locations, it starts to be a challenge.” Contreras also began to worry that the paper data was not secure and could be lost in transit before it was collated in Excel.

Contreras also ran into problems with accessibility and usability. “Data is only good if you can control it and use it,” said Contreras, noting he needs efficient data analysis capabilities to put together appropriate post-screen training and education programs for clients. In addition, the paperwork piled up. Literally. Because FMS Health & Safety holds client records for five years, Contreras had to rent a storage locker to house the paper overflow.

As the drawbacks to this paper-driven, spreadsheet system mounted, Contreras decided to pursue other options.

Pain Relieved with an eXercise

FMS Health & Safety decided to explore the idea of a custom database application and attended an Idea to iPad seminar hosted by Apple and FileMaker, Inc. Contreras was hooked up with a FileMaker Pro developer and started down the path for a custom database solution. “I was sold on the concept,” said Contreras.

 Worker holds iPad

Unfortunately Contreras became frustrated with the project and shelved it for nine months. But the business kept growing and other business opportunities arose, such as licensing his screening system. “I realized, I can’t license a pencil and a piece of paper, so I circled back around.” Contreras contacted FileMaker, Inc., again and asked for a referral for another FileMaker Pro developer. Soon after, FileMaker connected Contreras with eXcelisys and eXcelisys’ VP/Project Manager Doug West took over.

“Doug is phenomenal,” said Contreras. “He took the time to understand the complete FileMaker Go iPad App — the A to Z of my plan and my needs and how this database was going to fit into my whole operation. I wouldn’t be using FileMaker Pro if it wasn’t for Doug.”

 FileMaker Cloud Product Diagram
The FMS Health & Safety database is hosted in the FileMaker Cloud. iPads connect and sync to get the latest information. This also shares the data with those people who have been screened. Using a desktop computer, they can access their data, along with reminders about the corrective exercises assigned to them.

During Doug’s initial review he found that the previous developer had built much of the data collection interface and had set up the app for hosting on the FileMaker Cloud. This was a good option for Contreras because his company doesn’t have an IT department to maintain a local server so a hands-off, cloud-based hosting option was ideal.

To be useful, the data had to go both directions. The iPads in the field needed to be able to pull down data from the hosted file, as well as send information back to it. Doug developed a custom synchronization routine to keep the data up-to-date between the FileMaker Cloud database and the offline copies used for data collection in FileMaker Go on the iPads. “It’s a fully automated, one-click process for exchanging data with the server,” said Doug.

In addition, the FileMaker Go database solution lacked branding, so Doug added the FMS Health & Safety corporate colors and logo and stylized the FileMaker Go iPad App interface so it was more consistent with the company’s corporate image.

 FMS custom branded screen with FileMaker Go on iPad
Contreras likes the simplicity and ease with which the database can be utilized. “We don’t build rockets here. It’s pretty simple and the interface makes it simple.”
 Mobility Screening App on iPad running FIleMaker Go
FMS Health & Safety uses the mobility screening data it collects to identify where employees have limitations in their movement so corrective exercises can be implemented.

Doug also saw an opportunity to add back-office capabilities and turned the solution into more than a data collection tool. The FileMaker Go iPad App system now handles invoicing. Previously, clients used a sign-in sheet at the screening site and Contreras had to reconcile the names one by one.

Functional for the Future

Contreras is pleased with the final outcome of his custom FileMaker Go/Pro database solution and the efficiency the iPads add to the screening process. He says the iPads have cut data-entry man hours by 98 percent and he’s relieved to know the data is safe and secure. “It allows us to focus on the things we need to focus on instead of punching endless numbers into a spreadsheet.”

 Workers discuss screening test on FileMaker Go iPad App

 

And what Contreras wants to focus on is helping people. Contreras sees FMS Health & Safety as an extension of his firefighter duty to help people in distress. While many clients hire FMS Health & Safety hoping to reduce lost days and workers’ compensation claims, Contreras remains committed to the employees. “We’re doing it for the workers,” he said. “I could retire tomorrow with a pension and be fine, but truly, I really look at, ‘Do you know how many lives we could change if we could teach people how to care for themselves?’ ”

For Contreras, caring for oneself involves maintaining functional mobility. “I’ve seen it before — where the inability to squat or go to the bathroom becomes a death sentence. You fall, go to a care home, get an infection and die. Maybe that doesn’t have to be the outcome.”


To read about another eXcelisys solution that benefits the healthcare industry, click here.

About the Author:

Founded in 2001, eXcelisys (www.excelisys.com) is an FBA Platinum Partner and FileMaker Certified developer organization. eXcelisys specializes in designing, developing, customizing, supporting, consulting, migrating, upgrading, fixing, and integrating of database solutions for Desktop, Mobile, and Web applications. Our core technology competencies are FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Go, and MySQL for database frameworks, along with FileMaker WebDirect, WordPress, MySQL, PHP, CodeIgniter, PostgreSQL, Joomla, Drupal, Magento and WooCommerce for websites and web applications. Aside from providing eXcellent customer service, our goals are to use these technologies to intuitively automate your organization’s data solution needs seamlessly and flawlessly across the web, mobile, and desktop platforms. Contact eXcelisys anytime for a free estimate and consultation about making your business more efficient through intuitive and effective software automation. 866-592-9235.

Leave A Comment

Website Content and Design

Website Content and Design

Copyright © eXcelisys, Inc., all rights reserved. No unauthorized use permitted; all derivative works must have prior approval. All content – including design and copy within the eXcelisys website is protected under international copyright laws. eXcelisys will prosecute ANYONE who borrows or steals any derivative or facsimile of the content and design of eXcelisys’ website without written approval or permission. Read More

Trademarks

Trademarks

FileMaker®, FileMaker Pro® and the referencing FileMaker® logos are trademarks of FileMaker, Inc., in the United States, the European Union and other countries. MySQL® and MySQL® Logos are registered trademarks of MySQL AB in the United States, the European Union and other countries. The PostgreSQL elephant logo “Slonik” is a registered trademark of the PostgreSQL Global Development Group. Read More

Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

We will never give or sell your email address or contact information to anybody, for any reason. There are no eXceptions. We do not make our customer list available to anyone outside of eXcelisys at all, ever.

There is no way that submitting your information to eXcelisys will result in you receiving “spam” or other junk mail from eXcelisys if you have requested us not to do so. Read More