The impact of on-site and near-site employer clinics on healthcare as a whole October 16, 2017
The number of employers offering the benefit of an on-site or near-site clinic to their employees is increasing. Employers find that the clinics offer cost savings for the organization and employees enjoy the convenient access to healthcare. There are a number of other advantages to the on-site and near-site employer clinic, most notably in the area of healthcare outcomes.
Access is key in healthcare. Employees who have access to an on-site or near-site clinic tend to take advantage of those services more often. Employer clinics that offer preventative services, including immunizations and screenings, can have a significant impact on the healthcare outcomes of those employees. The occurrence of absenteeism and presenteeism, those employees who still go to work even though they feel ill, decreases for employees with access to preventative and treatment services.
A recent study in the Online Journal of Issues in Nursing examined the benefits of employer clinics, in terms of healthcare expenditures and outcomes. The study found that physicians at on-site and near-site clinics “have been successful in working with employees to comply with evidence-based medical guidelines for diagnostic screening.” The earlier a condition is detected, the more positive the healthcare outcomes.
Employer clinics are also effective in managing chronic conditions, by coordinating with the employee’s primary care provider. Employees may be more likely to visit the on-site or near-site clinic that is convenient to their workplace, to check blood pressure and glucose levels. With a convenient clinic available, they are less likely to have to take a significant amount of leave time to be able to visit the provider’s office for such diagnostic tests.
Monitoring an employee’s medications and healthcare progress can also be done effectively at employer clinics. When the clinic uses electronic health records (EHRs) to maintain visit notes and to communicate with the patient and with the patient’s other healthcare providers, the quality of care improves as well.