1.2.5 Clinic management

Occupational medicine is the branch of clinical medicine most active in the field of occupational health. OM specialists work to ensure that the highest standards of occupational health and safety can be achieved and maintained.

Large organisations have on-site clinics established at most of their sites whereas smaller organisations outsource these functions to service providers offering from mobile to static (on or off-site) solutions.

On-Site Medical Services

  • Health Risk Assessment (HRA)

It is aimed at planning the recommended medical surveillance programme for the company. The HRA takes note of the level of compliance with the relevant health and safety legislations.

  • Risk Based Medical Surveillance
  • Fit-for-duty Medical Testing
  • Emergency Medical Services
    • Management of injuries on duty
    • Ambulance services
    • Emergency evacuation
  • Primary Health Care
    • Day-to-day acute disease management
    • Chronic disease management

According to a survey by Towers Watson, called “2012 Onsite Health Centre Survey” a significant number of U.S. employers, those with either established onsite health centres or those planning to establish such facilities, reported planning to expand the scope of services offered, as well as expanding the audiences eligible to use the centres.  The survey reported that while a majority of employers offering onsite health services to their employees still struggle to calculate their return on investment (ROI), an even larger majority report that their senior leadership support the programs. That would indicate that for many employers, there is a strong belief that these services will provide a huge payoff down the road.  The lack of ROI data has not prevented expansions in the types of services offered at the centres, with a strong belief that such an investment can effectively increasing productivity, control costs, and improve overall employee health.

Nearly two-thirds of the companies surveyed said enhancing worker productivity was their primary motive for establishing an onsite health services centre, with most companies establishing or keep their centres open to gain improvements in employee productivity that come from eliminating visits to offsite medical providers. However, organisations are finding it difficult to get their arms around how to measure the ROI of onsite health centres; for those that do attempt to measure, calculations using lost time on the job is the principal metric.

Currently, a majority of onsite health centres offer biometric screenings, wellness counselling, urgent care, and primary care services.  Since 2008, according to survey data, many employers have expanded access to their on-site health centres to include covered dependents.  More than one-third allows spouses and children of employees to use their centres. Within the next year, an additional 13% are planning to allow spouses to use the centres, and another 11% are planning to allow children.

Other survey findings include:

  • 58% said their employees are satisfied with the quality of the services offered.
  • Many companies plan to add new offerings in 2013, including telemedicine, onsite pharmacies, and physical therapy.
  • More than three-quarters do not expect their centres’ service offerings to change due to health-care reform; however, 30% expect the use of their centres to increase due to reform, while 34% do not expect an increase, and 36% are unsure