How to get employees excited about on-site and near-site health clinics

Employer on-site clinics seem like the perfect solution for everyone. They save money for both the employers and the employees, they are convenient, and they help keep employees healthy who might otherwise miss work because of illnesses. Why, then, do many employees not take advantage of these clinics? What are some effective ways for employers to encourage on-site clinic participation from their employees?

Employees might be skeptical of on-site or near-site clinics for a number of reasons. Their main concern appears to be the issue of confidentiality. A recent post on the Occupational Health & Safety site points out that employees worry about employers using the information against them when they use an on-site clinic to treat an illness. Employees may also doubt the sincerity of an employer’s purpose in providing on-site or near-site healthcare. When company leaders do not take advantage of the clinic and company vending machines continue to offer unhealthy “junk” food, it sends a mixed message to employees.

Communicating reassurances and benefits is a significant first step in getting employees excited about using the services of an on-site or near-site health clinic. Communications via email, intranet, posters, and face-to-face meetings can serve to address employee concerns and point out the rewards for the employees in using these services.

Confidential concerns are the easiest to address. All health records, regardless of whether they are created and maintained on-site or in an independent provider’s office, are protected by HIPAA regulations. Medical information cannot be shared without the patient’s explicit written permission.

In addition, on-site clinics generally save the employees money. Services at these clinics are typically offered with lower, or even non-existent, co-pays and deductibles. Research published by the Online Journal of Issues in Nursing points out that employees benefit from on-site clinics as they “receive prompt medical services, pay reduced co-pays, decrease the amount of time away from work, and maintain work productivity.”

When company leaders set the example by visiting the on-site clinics for their healthcare services, employees will be more inclined to get excited about doing so as well. The example of quality healthcare should permeate throughout the organization, including at the vending machine and in the cafeteria.

Employees will also get excited about the reduced wait times associated on-site clinics that take advantage of tools such as EHRs. These physicians are able to provide more efficient service, as they are able to access patient information via a cloud-based system, rather than continuously searching through paperwork. Patient communication is streamlined and more secure, ensuring the level of confidentiality employees need in their on-site clinic services.

There are many benefits to using an on-site clinic. With the right message, targeted toward the employees’ specific concerns, it is possible to get them excited about taking advantage of those benefits.