The difference between on-site clinics and near-site clinics

A number of larger employers offer on-site clinics for their employees, as a benefit that provides positive results for all involved. Healthcare costs are reduced, absenteeism is reduced, and employees have ready access to preventive and diagnostic care. Alternatively, employers may offer the benefits of access to a near-site clinic for their employees. What are the differences between on-site and near-site clinics?

Smaller employers who want to provide convenient healthcare services for their employees may opt for the near-site clinic benefit option. Primarily a financial consideration, joining with other employers or contracting with a local clinic provides the healthcare benefits without the direct overhead costs of an on-site clinic. Near-site clinics do not have quite the same convenience factor for employees as on-site clinics, but they are still perceived as a valuable benefit.

Near-site clinics may make more sense for “office settings in which workplace injuries are unlikely to occur, and in which medical surveillance generally isn’t needed,” according to an article in The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine. On-site clinics are generally best suited – and may make more sense for employers – in those work environments in which there is an increased risk of injury and a need for OSHA reporting.

On-site clinics are ideal for employee visits, but may raise concern about privacy issues. Employees want to be sure their employers do not have access to their medical records. While HIPAA regulations apply to healthcare records regardless of the site location, a near-site clinic may reassure employees that their information is more secure.

Electronic health records can benefit providers and patients in both on-site and near-site clinics, particularly a provider-centric Clinical EHR that exists at the nexus of the clinical workflow, supports the physician-patient relationship and drives outstanding patient outcomes.

Both on-site and near-site clinics promote preventive and diagnostic care, focus on health management, and offer benefits that improve their patients’ health care outcomes. The decision as to which an employer should offer depends on that employer’s size, financial situation, and work environment.