Ideas for wellness initiatives at your on-site or near-site employer health clinic

A number of employer health clinics provide immunizations, screening services, and treatment for emergencies such as workplace injuries. Most also provide basic primary care services, including wellness checks. Employees use their health clinic to get flu shots and for urgent care, as well as for their medical home when they do not have a primary care physician.

You can set your employer health clinic apart from the rest by offering wellness initiatives, above and beyond these basic services, that will benefit both the employee and the employer.

Life management programs, such as for smoking cessation and weight management, can help employees become healthier and can help employers realize lower healthcare costs. A fitness center at the on-site clinic can augment the effects of these life management programs, by encouraging employees to not only give up bad habits but also to establish new, healthier habits.

Laitram Machinery, for example, found that by offering a fitness and nutrition center through their on-site clinic “employee visits to hospital emergency rooms have dropped 26% since 2010, and nearly 8 in 10 workers have seen improvement on at least one measure of health, such as blood pressure, cholesterol or body fat percentage.”

Other initiatives that can be offered include assessing workplace environments for healthy ergonomics. An on-site clinic can review the way employees work, how their furniture is set up, and whether their chronic conditions, such as neck or back aches, could be caused by the way they sit, lift, or otherwise perform their daily work routines.

An important initiative to offer in an on-site or near-site employer health clinic is the use of electronic health records (EHRs). Employees who are able to access their medical information securely and easily will become more engaged in their own healthcare. Knowing that they can ask questions, get clarifications on medications or instructions, and become more knowledgeable about their health status will encourage them to become more involved in improving their outcomes.