Facts About Functional Capacity Evaluations and Occupational Medicine

When your employee takes a medical leave, either because he was affected by an illness or involved in an accident, your company should carefully consider his physical and mental ability to safely return to work. Keep in mind that a returning employee who is still unfit to return to work will not only cause himself further harm but can also affect productivity and employee safety.

This is where the functional capacity evaluations (FCE), also known as functional capacity assessment (FCA) and Physical Capacities Evaluation (PCE), come in. Be sure to ask the occupational medicine professionals at any of the Healthpointe clinics (such as the La Mirada clinic near Whittier, La Habra, Norwalk, Cerritos, Buena Park, Santa Fe Springs) about the details for FCE.

Functional capacity evaluations are a series of tests that measure range of motion, physical strength and stamina, and tolerance for functional activities, such as lifting and carrying objects. The tests are used in the evaluation of work tolerance for the concerned employee and the necessity for work limitations or restrictions in accordance with his functional capacity.

The battery of tests is designed based on several key factors including diagnosis, pain and functional limitation, impairment, and referral questions, among others. These are designed for other purposes, too, such as:

  • Measure physical ability especially in job-related tasks
  • Determine the appropriate treatment program
  • Review the efficacy of the rehabilitation program
  • Evaluate working capability
  • Predict the return to work date

While FCE may not be applicable in all instances, its importance in employee safety and company profitability cannot be overemphasized. Data collected from FCE can be used in improving the system for determining the type and severity of injuries among workers, too.

It must be emphasized that the value of FCE to the injured worker is more on functional ability to safely return to work and less on pain limitation due to impairments. The tests usually consider the worker’s flexibility, speed, endurance, strength, and skill as these relate to work-related tasks.

Contact any of our clinics, such as the Long Beach clinic near Signal Hill, Carson, Seal Beach, Lakewood, Bellflower, Compton, Hawaiian Gardens, and Los Alamitos, for excellent FCE procedures.

About Healthpointe:

Healthpointe is a leading multidisciplinary healthcare organization offering a full range of medical services in practice locations throughout Southern California (Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, and Riverside County). Healthpointe has locations situated in over 10 cities in Southern California including Long Beach, which is conveniently located by Signal Hill, Carson, Seal Beach, Lakewood, Bellflower, Compton, Hawaiian Gardens, and Los Alamitos. As a highly regarded musculoskeletal group, we have a personal investment in the highest level of service, and we are proud of our record of excellence over the last four decades with private patients, injured workers, urgent care, personal injuries, and professional and non-professional athletes. Leading our organization is a dynamic team of healthcare professionals who continually strive to be at the forefront of medical innovation and healthcare service delivery. For more information, a complete list of services, and Healthpointe locations, visit Healthpointe.net.

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