The option of offering an on-site or near-site health clinic as a benefit for employees is becoming more popular among employers. Provided as part of their healthcare package, the employer clinic is popular among employees and is a draw for potential candidates.
A 2015/2016 Global Staying@Work Survey, conducted by Willis Towers Watson, found that “half of employees participate in health risk assessments and use an onsite or near-site health clinic.” The survey was conducted of 1,669 employers in 34 markets around the world. These on-site and near-site clinics contribute to the health of employees who take advantage of their services and generally create a healthier workplace environment.
There are a number of factors involved in the clinic’s ability to create a healthier workplace:
Access. People who have easy access to healthcare tend to use it. Employer sponsored clinics provide their employees, and sometimes employees’ families, access to preventative care, immunizations, well-checks, as well as timely treatment for minor injuries and illnesses. Reassuring employees that their healthcare records are protected under HIPAA, even at an employer clinic, will help to encourage them to access these services.
Convenience. With on-site or near-site clinics, there is less need to take time away from work to visit the doctor. Employees who are able to visit a physician that is minutes from their workplace tend to use the clinic’s services more as well.
Absenteeism / Presenteeism. When employees have the access and convenience they need for preventative and treatment visits, their absenteeism rate decreases. Perhaps more importantly, the rate of “presenteeism” decreases. Employees who do not have ready access to treatment tend to go to work feeling ill or injured, as they don’t want to take the time off to heal. Reducing presenteeism is a significant factor in creating a healthier workplace environment.
Lifestyle programs. In addition to basic healthcare services, many on-site and near-site clinics also provide programs that help employees live a healthier lifestyle overall. These may include smoking cessation or fitness programs. Engaging employees in their overall healthcare outcomes definitely helps to improve the health of the workplace environment.
Care coordination. Collaborating with the employee’s primary care or specialty physicians is also an important factor in creating a healthier workplace environment. Coordination includes communication with the employee and other providers to ensure the employee’s treatment plan is effective and is being followed appropriately.