How to evaluate an onsite employer health clinic August 18, 2017
An on-site health clinic can benefit both employer and employees. Or can it? While interest in employer sponsored on-site health clinics has increased in recent years, the employer must be able to evaluate the clinic as to its effectiveness in driving down costs and increasing employee health outcomes.
Evaluating the on-site employer health clinic involves doing some research into the types of services offered, the type of services used by employees, and the data associated with costs for the employer and employees.
The employer can do research to determine if employees are taking advantage of the services offered by the clinic. Without violating HIPAA regulations, find out which services are being used the most. For example, are employees being treated more for cold symptoms or for more complex conditions? Are most of the visits for preventative services? Given this information, it can also then be determined whether the on-site clinic is staffed appropriately for the employees’ needs.
Assessing whether the clinic uses electronic health records (EHRs) to provide more efficient services can help in the evaluation process as well. Those records can further provide the data necessary to more fully determine whether the clinic is reducing costs and improving absenteeism. These records can also help the employer evaluate whether the clinic is coordinating care with employees’ primary care and specialty providers, to provide fully comprehensive healthcare services.
As described in a recent Benefit News article, on-site clinics can contribute to a healthier employee base, which impacts productivity and attendance rates. The article recommends that employers “incorporate absence data to understand whether improved access to care contributes to lower rates of absence and associated costs.”
Even though on-site health clinic generally do provide significant benefits to the employer and its employees, a periodic comprehensive evaluation will help the employer determine whether the clinic’s services are being utilized efficiently and effectively.