Corporate on-site, near-site clinics provide “business class” care

Employer healthcare clinics had their origin in on-site emergency treatment for factory workers and miners. Job-related injuries were more prevalent when manufacturing, steel mills, and other industries dependent on manual labor were in their prime. Often there was a “company doctor” who treated workers, at the workers’ expense, so they could get back to their jobs as quickly as possible. The idea of the employer clinic has morphed significantly into today’s on-site and near-site clinic that provides preventative services, immunizations, primary care, and a host of other services for employees.

Today’s on-site and near-site clinics offer much more than treatment of workplace injuries. Corporate clinics have elevated to the level of “business class” care. Many companies offer a wide range of services, in addition to the basic medical care provided by these clinics. Ongoing wellness and life management programs are prevalent among the large corporations on Fortune’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For.

Fitness centers, dietitians, and weight loss management are often provided to corporate employees as well as to their dependents, in a number of cases. On-site medical care may also include stress management programs appropriate for managers and executives in a corporate setting. Additional programs may include smoking cessation and other health-focused classes.

The employer healthcare clinic that once was focused on treating employees with the sole purpose of getting them back to work now includes a wider range of preventative and health management services designed to “lower medical costs for companies, encourage better long-term employee health, reduce absenteeism, and improve productivity,” according to Fortune.

Of course, other aspects of the employer clinic have improved along the way. Employees are now assured that their treatment and their medical information are kept private and secure, in compliance with HIPAA regulations. They may also find that their medical records are maintained electronically, aiding them in accessing their own information and in sharing it with their primary care or specialty provider, a significant move toward business class care.