Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE)

Objectively manage work-related injuries and return-to-work decisions with WorkSTEPS’ comprehensive Functional Capacity Evaluations.

When employers need objective data to help inform rehabilitation and return-to-work decisions, consider administering a WorkSTEPS comprehensive Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE). FCEs are full-body comprehensive medical tests used to measure an employee’s functional capacity and assist in injury management, whether the injury was sustained while at work or existed previously. The FCE test may be used alone to document existing impairments or may be used in combination with the Post-Offer Comprehensive test as a comparison against original, baseline data.

One FCE should be given at the time of injury to determine severity and legitimacy for optimum injury management. Another FCE should be administered during rehabilitation to determine progress. A final FCE should be conducted post-rehabilitation to determine the employee’s ability to return to his or her job.

At the time of injury, when compared against data previously collected, the FCE may be used to prove consistency and validity of performance and create realistic, objective rehabilitation goals, return to work recommendations, or work conditioning programs. This information is valuable in objectively moving the patient through the system in a fair and timely manner.

FCE will help you

  • Implement an objective, timely, safe, and fair return-to-work process that is good for your company and your employees
  • Decrease work-related injuries and turnover associated with an injured employee returning to a position they are unable to perform safely
  • Lower workers’ compensation costs
  • Gather objective data to identify where employees may exaggerate symptoms
  • Decrease healthcare costs
  • Decrease overtime costs and disruption to production by returning trained, skilled workers back to their jobs in a safe and timely manner
  • Less disruption to production when skilled workers become disabled

The Importance of Functional Capacity Evaluations

A functional capacity evaluation is the best way to determine the physical capability of an employee after sustaining an injury. These evaluations provide a comprehensive review of an individual’s ability to work; some of its uses are:

  • Measures physical ability
  • Determines treatment program
  • Reviews efficiency of rehabilitation
  • Evaluates working capability
  • Attempts to predict return date

It is important that an employee returns from an injury only when he or she is fully capable of safely doing their job. Data collected from tests like this is pivotal to both the health of the employee and efficiency of the business. If your company needs to improve its system for determining the severity of worker injuries, a functional capacity evaluation service dedicated to this practice could solve your problems and maintain your business’s productivity.

Employers have the ability to compare FCE data from the time of injury against baseline Post-Offer Functional Employment Testing data, enabling them to objectively evaluate whether an employee’s impairment is new (related to the injury) or was present at the time of hire. Comparison data can also be used to evaluate the consistency and validity of the employee's effort, enabling detection of symptom exaggeration. With these objective measures, you’re positioned to make fair decisions about treatments, rehabilitation, compensation claims and return to work.

Get the Most from Your Data

When combined with our service WorkSTEPS EHS DataHub™, WorkSTEPS FCE makes getting your employees back on the job more efficient by giving you access to all your occupational health and safety data – in one easy-to-use digital platform.

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Contact our expert

Contact Cindy today to learn more about WorkSTEPS Services, and how we can help you with the lowering injury rates and employee-related health costs.

Cindy Gallaher, Executive VP of Business Development

Top-tier companies create their occupational health programs with WorkSTEPS
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