In order to mitigate injuries and maintain a healthy population, employers traditionally invest in a health model geared towards preventing workplace hazards. Today, occupational healthcare is experiencing a shift as employers seek to address the rising cost of healthcare and system fragmentation. As a result, companies now integrate on-site medical services into their corporate culture.
While this move is creating a new opportunity to improve workplace health, what does it mean for both employers and employees? Keep reading to find out the benefits of on-site occupational health services.
What is Occupational Health?
Occupational health is an aspect of public health. It studies trends related to injuries and illnesses in the population of workers and proposes and executes regulations and strategies to prevent such occurrences. It has a broad scope that cuts across various disciplines such as violence prevention, ergonomics, epidemiology, and toxicology. You can click here to read about occupational diseases.
In the past, occupational health efforts focused more on workplaces requiring manual labor such as factories. In the US today, the field encompasses every occupation. This ensures that work environments such as office buildings and construction sites have safety measures that prevent injuries. Additionally, experts in the field help to reduce the long and short-term hazards that may result in mental or physical illness.
In the US, many people suffer illnesses or severe injuries related to work. Millions are also exposed to hazards that may cause health problems later. The number of claims for workers’ compensation keeps rising and this excludes lost wages and other expenses like reduced productivity. Caring for an injured person also has a psychological impact too which we do not account for in losses.
Employers, whether public or private, have legal and social responsibilities to establish and sustain a safe workspace. However, some comply because illness and injuries reduce turnover and productivity and increase premiums of insurance for staff members. Still, other employers comply because it is ethical to protect employees.
Why Should You Choose On-Site Occupational Health Services?
When accessing care, people want options that are not just inexpensive but also convenient. With wellness programs and clinics in the workplace, employers can now fulfill the healthcare needs of their employees. On-site occupational health services include the following:
- Provision of convenient and affordable healthcare options
- Mobile laboratory for testing, including a rapid test for COVID-19
- Vaccination programs
- Telephone access to an RN (registered nurse) for queries related to health
Benefits of On-Site Healthcare to Employees
After the onset of the global pandemic that brought almost all activities to a halt, employers now see the need to maintain a healthy population. This is where on-site occupational health services come in. Employees can now access convenient primary care through an employer-sponsored service right there in the workplace.
The service includes the following:
- Coaching on wellness and healthy living
- Flu management in the workspace
- Assessment of health risks
- Wellness screenings
The advantages of on-site healthcare to employees are:
- It provides effective preventive and primary care for employees.
- Employees can access vaccine administration on the worksite.
- It prevents the spread of contagious illnesses.
- It helps to detect and manage infectious diseases early.
Benefits of On-Site Healthcare to Employers
As the year rolls by, more and more employers are embracing workplace clinics. With the coronavirus affecting every nation in the world, having an on-site clinic offers more benefits than before. You will not need to manage the absenteeism of a sick employee, book an appointment for them, or decipher the healthcare bills that follow their treatment.
The advantages of on-site clinics to employers are:
Reduced Cost of Healthcare Services
With a clinic in your workplace, employees can easily access medical and healthcare services. This costs less than visiting a clinic outside the company. This is because the cost of operating a clinic in a worksite is lower than that of a community clinic. Additionally, your employers can get primary care and quick treatment for health concerns without visiting an actual hospital.
Increase in Staff Productivity
When a company does not experience a lot of unscheduled staff absenteeism, employers should expect an increase in productivity. Generally, absenteeism increases indirect costs and healthcare costs. Mental fatigue at work is a major issue that can result in other illnesses. You can visit https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/burnout/art-20046642 to know the signs and preventive measures.
Reduced Healthcare Expenditures
Establishing a clinic in your workplace provides early-stage preventative care. The process includes testing, detecting infections on time, wellness programs, telemedicine training, and helping employees receive the necessary care. All these activities reduce healthcare expenditures in the long run.
Every year, industry employees report workplace illnesses and injuries. The commonest of them are lacerations/cuts, pain or soreness, and sprains or strains. Most times, these injuries can be prevented if there is a functional occupational health service in place.