Electronic Physical

Electronic Ordering of Physicals: Streamlining the Process for Employers and Owner Operators

Keeping up with the paperwork required for employment can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to physicals. Dot physicals, non-dot physicals, and owner operator physicals are all important components of the hiring process, but can also be time-consuming and frustrating to navigate. Luckily, electronic ordering of physicals has become a game changer for employers and owner operators alike. In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of electronic ordering of physicals, the difference between dot and non-dot physicals, how long DOT physical certifications last, and whether or not these physicals get reported to the FMCSA Clearinghouse.

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1. Understanding the Benefits of Electronic Ordering of Physicals

Electronic ordering of physicals has revolutionized the process of ordering and tracking employee physicals. One of the main benefits of electronic ordering is the speed and efficiency it brings to the process. Employers are able to order physicals online and receive results quickly, reducing wait times and eliminating the need to track down paper copies of physicals. Additionally, electronic ordering can help streamline the hiring process and reduce the margin for error. With electronic ordering, it’s also easier to track when physicals are due for renewal, simplifying the process for both employers and employees. Physician offices that have the electronic capability will utilize an electronic application which eliminates errors and missing information which speeds up the process of receiving final report.  Overall, electronic ordering of physicals provides an easy and efficient way to stay on top of the physical examination process.

2. DOT Physicals vs Non-DOT Physicals: Understanding the Differences

One of the key distinctions when it comes to physicals is whether they are DOT physicals or non-dot physicals. DOT physicals are required by DOT regulations for employees who operate certain types of commercial motor vehicles, while non-dot physicals are not subject to DOT regulations. DOT physicals focus on assessing an employee’s overall physical health, with a focus on cardiovascular health, hearing, vision, and other areas that can impact an individual’s ability to operate a commercial motor vehicle safely. Non-dot physicals, on the other hand, are typically less stringent and can vary depending on the employer’s requirements. It’s important for employers to understand which type of physical is required and to communicate these requirements clearly to their employees.

3. How Long Do DOT Physical Certifications Last?

DOT physicals are required every two years for drivers and must be conducted by a DOT-certified medical examiner. If a driver’s physical exam uncovers a medical issue that requires monitoring, the medical examiner may require annual check-ups and even 90 day physicals instead of the standard two-year interval. It’s important to note that employers are responsible for ensuring that their employees have current DOT physicals at all times and cannot allow employees to operate commercial vehicles without a current certification.

4. Owner Operator Physicals

Owner operators are required to undergo a DOT physical. These physicals focus on assessing an individual’s fitness to perform the duties like any other DOT safety sensitive physical.  Like every other DOT participant, owner operators must undergo a physical every two years for healthier individuals and every 90 – 365 days for the less healthier population.

5. Reporting Physicals to the FMCSA Clearinghouse

The FMCSA Clearinghouse is a national database that allows employers and other authorized personnel to view information regarding drug and alcohol program violations by commercial drivers, including information regarding information if the employee is eligible for hire due to drug and alcohol testing violations. DOT physicals are not explicitly reported to the Clearinghouse, but information about CDL medical certification is indirectly reported through the medical examiner’s certificate. It’s important for employers to ensure that their employees’ physical results are up to date, however,  physicals are not reported to the clearinghouse.

In conclusion, electronic ordering of physicals offers a streamlined and efficient process for both employers and employees when it comes to managing physicals. Ensuring that employers understand the difference between dot and non-dot physicals, the importance of owner operator physicals, and the requirements of DOT physical certification is key to avoiding costly compliance issues. With electronic ordering of physicals and a clear understanding of the requirements for different types of physicals, employers and owner operators can feel confident that they are in compliance with DOT regulations and can focus on the important work of operating commercial vehicles safely.