The convenience of on-site, near-site employer clinics October 10, 2018
Two major challenges for healthcare are cost and access. Even when healthcare costs are made affordable for the patient, or perhaps covered completely by health insurance plans, access often becomes an obstacle to being able to seek care and treatment. When care is made more convenient, however, more patients will take advantage of the opportunity for well care visits, immunizations, and acute care visits.
Patients are used to scheduling their appointments based on the physician’s calendar, rather than their own. They also typically would have to take time off from work, whether paid sick leave or unpaid time off, drive to the physician’s office, and wait in the physician’s office for their visit.
On-site and near-site employer clinics offer the convenience employees and employers seek. Employees who have access to healthcare services conveniently located on or near their workplace are able to visit the doctor for preventive services or to treat an injury or illness, without having to take significant amounts of time away from their job. The practical benefits of on-site and near-site employer clinics can be seen in increased productivity and reduced absenteeism.
Employees also increasingly want convenience as a reflection of their increased use of technology that enables them to access many other services from their phones or other electronic devices. To make on-site and near-site healthcare services even more convenient for busy employees, many primary care physicians practicing in employer clinics also offer telehealth visits.
Younger employees, in particular, want to access healthcare services at their convenience, using their phones whenever possible. Employees who take advantage of telemedicine services can generally speak with a primary care physician or other clinician via a phone call, describe their symptoms, and receive a diagnosis and any necessary prescriptions, all from the convenience of their office.
Technology and convenience can improve access to healthcare dramatically. The on-site and near-site employer clinics are increasingly providing both, encouraging employees to take advantage of their services, which in turn results in improved health outcomes for those employees.