3 metrics successful employer health clinics need to track

How does an employer truly know when an on-site health clinic is successful? What does it mean to be successful? The impact of an employer’s investment in on-site healthcare services may be difficult to measure, particularly in regard to the value the employer may receive for its financial investment. However, there are three metrics, as suggested by HealthStat, that an employer may want to track around the performance of its on-site clinic.

1. Level of access. One metric that will help an employer understand whether an on-site clinic is performing appropriately for employee needs is to determine whether employees are actually using the clinic’s services. Access is one of the key benefits of offering an on-site clinic to employees. Generally, people who have greater access to healthcare are more likely to use those services.

Without breaching HIPAA regulations, the employer should examine the clinic utilization records. Are employees accessing the services once or on an ongoing basis? Why are they visiting the clinic? Are they only going when they are ill or are they taking advantage of preventative services?

2. Population health status. To determine how the on-site clinic is impacting the overall health outcomes for the employee population, the employer can, according to HealthStat, “trend quality measures for the top conditions, as well as general measures for preventive care, to help assess whether clinic visits are leading to improved care compliance.”

3. Cost management. The third metric focuses on analyzing the cost of the healthcare delivery provided by the on-site clinic. The employer should measure direct as well as indirect costs. Examples of indirect costs include absenteeism and productivity rates that are impacted by the level of healthcare the employees are receiving. Reduced rates of hospitalizations and reduced costs of routine lab tests and procedures also factor in this metric.

In addition, the “clinic’s impact on chronic condition management may also lead to reductions in inpatient and emergency department utilization,” which can result in reduced overall healthcare costs for the employee and the employer.