Functional Capacity Evaluation
Since 1998, Medical Legal Experts created safe working environments, prevented injuries and improved productivity with Ergonomics, Employment Screenings, Fit for Duty and Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE).
Functional Capacity Evaluations
The purpose of the Medical Legal Experts Inc. Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) is to identify the worker’s physical capabilities and the expected critical demands of the job. We created an objective exam to identify and rate any work limitations, with the goal of returning the worker back to work safely.
Are work restrictions or modified duty required?
When is a worker ready to return to work safely?
The Medical Legal Experts Inc. Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) identifies if any work restrictions are required and closely works with the employer, insurance company or nurse case manager to determine if alternate job duties are available.
If the employee cannot be accommodated and returned to work, than a job retraining program including vocational rehabilitation may be considered. If all fails and the workers are not capable of gainful employment, then the financial impact is shared by insurance carriers, the employers, and job economy. Essentially, the financial impact of industrial injuries and the loss of productive employees affect all of us.
The Medical Legal Experts Inc. Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) can also be used to determine any impairment the patient may present with. This information can then be used to determine if any disability persists. It is important to recognize the subtle difference between impairment and disability. The two terms are closely related and commonly used interchangeably within the medical community, but a distinct difference does exist.
Learn about our additional services:
- . Return to Work Evaluations: how to create a safe return to the workplace for an injured worker.
- . Ergonomics: Keep your employee working in a safe environment with proper biomechanics.
- Pre-Employment Screening: know who’s a risk before you hire.
- Qualified Medical Evaluations: when to request this independent exam, who will perform the QME and what QME doctor to select.
Stages of Prevention
The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) separates preventive medicine into three stages. The Functional Capacity Evaluation can be performed during all three of these stages.
I. Primary Prevention
This stage reduces risk factors associated with occupational injury.
Pre-employment screenings Ergonomic Evaluations
The primary prevention stage focuses on the elimination of exposure to risk factors associated with injury. Emphasis is placed on the essential functions for the specific occupation. This includes physical risk factors such as force, repetition, posture, vibration, range of motion, muscle strength, grip strength, lift capacity, lighting, and work station design.
Pre-employment Screenings- Eliminate the Risk
In this stage, an on-site functional capacity evaluation of the essential functions of the job is performed. Key risk factors associated with a high risk of injury are isolated. Once these factors are identified, they can be broken down into specific body mechanics and calculations of the exact force, time, and motion required to perform the duty safely.
This data can be used to personalize a pre-employment functional capacity evaluation program specific to the occupation. This enables the examiner to test prospective employees on-site, in a laboratory, or anywhere in the world. The results of the examination are compared to normative data specific for age and gender.
The recommendations of the physical examination are reported to the employer in strict confidence using the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.
Ergonomic Evaluation – Reduce the Risk
Once the essential functions information is gathered, one can propose a strategic plan to reduce risk to current employees. At this stage we recommend protective measures. Person to job fit will reduce occupational health concerns and the cost of lost productivity due to illness and injury as well as related medical costs.
II. Secondary Prevention
Secondary prevention consists of detection programs to identify early signs and symptoms of injury, and intervention to avoid re-injury or permanent impairment.
“Secondary prevention involves working in partnership with the worker and employer.”
Periodic re-examinations, identical to the pre-employment functional capacity evaluation exams, can identify the early physical signs and activate an appropriate treatment protocol. This includes work modifications, back school, and/or medical treatment, including additional functional restoration programs.
III. Tertiary Prevention
This stage deals with pro-active care to accommodate the employee, to prevent re-injury, and to minimize cost.
Functional Capacity Evaluations
Accommodating the patient can be in the form of work restrictions or modified duties. This is where a custom functional capacity evaluation is imperative to identify if any work restrictions are required. The functional capacity evaluation examiner works closely works with the employer or nurse case manager to determine if alternate job duties are available. If the employee cannot be accommodated and returned to work, than a job retraining program including vocational rehabilitation may be considered. If all fails and the workers are not capable of gainful employment, then the financial impact is shared by insurance carriers, the employers, and job economy. Essentially, the financial impact of industrial injuries and the loss of productive employees affect all of us.