Physical Abilities or Fit-for-Duty Test:
A PAT (Physical Ability Test) or FFD (Fit for Duty) test is a modified version of a Functional Capacity Evaluation which can be done immediately after an injury and as soon as the patient is medically stable. These tests are designed to identify the patient’s current physical abilities, which may indicate a return to full duty or a return to transitional or modified duty.
For those employers who do post-offer testing, any injured worker can be sent for a Physical Abilities Test to determine if there are any changes in the employee’s condition from the time of hire to the post-injury stage. If there are deficits, then the healthcare providers now have a clear picture of what was present before the injury and what will need treatment vs. guessing what was caused by the injury and what was pre-existing.
Doing these tests at periodic intervals in the treatment process can provide invaluable information and direction for healthcare providers and prevent unnecessarily lengthy treatment with undefined goals.