In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic challenged business leaders in ways they never imagined. Even the most respected experts on corporate vision, values, strategy, and culture were unequipped to understand the many unknowns the pandemic presented. And yet organizations have a pivotal role to protect the health of employees, customers, and the public. Many businesses understood that their current leaders did not have the skills to respond to the challenges presented by the pandemic. They needed an expert with medical and scientific training to fill the gap. Some companies addressed this void by adding chief medical officers to the C-suite.1 This new executive’s role is to provide health-related advice and expertise to senior management and HR leadership teams. Other companies looked to firms offering high-level physician consulting services for assistance.
The COVID-19 pandemic is broadening the number of industry sectors in need of medical expertise and leadership over prior years. Retail and logistics, manufacturing, financial services, and technology companies are utilizing consulting executive physicians for guidance to executives and employees on navigating health, wellness, and safety issues for their employees and clients; navigating health security issues (e.g., COVID-19); tackling regulatory compliance; translating CDC guidance into an actionable plan; and providing clinical advice on chronic health issues.2
Medcor’s consulting executive physicians are often retained to assist employers in key areas. These areas include employee health, wellness, and education, employee and customer safety, pandemic support, and regulatory compliance.
Medcor has vast experience in all aspects of occupational health and general health services with intimate knowledge of the regulatory environment. Medcor is expert in managing costs and utilization, and our executive physician consulting program can help to identify gaps and opportunities for costs savings, decreased work absences, and programmatic implementation. Our team can evaluate onsite clinical needs given our experience in caring for employees in diverse environments such as construction sites, manufacturing facilities, and office settings.
Supporting the physical and mental wellbeing of a diverse workforce is no small task, requiring coordination between multiple corporate departments, insurers, and employee assistance programs. Programs focusing on mental health, physical therapy, and ergonomic evaluations may provide great benefit to employees but must be fully evaluated and vetted prior to implementation. Medcor can assist with evaluating existing or new programs and by implementing targeted interventions to maximize benefit while containing costs.
Translating complex medical topics for a diverse workforce can be challenging for corporations. For example, Medcor has worked with corporations to develop internal marketing materials, handouts, educational FAQs, and webinars to educate leadership teams and employees on COVID-19 vaccine science and safety to improve vaccination rates. As a parallel product offering, Medcor has developed onsite vaccination programs or partnered with external agencies to coordinate vaccination events. Whatever the topic, Medcor has a medical expert that can effectively communicate to key internal stakeholders, regardless of their medical literacy.
Workplace safety is at the heart of Medcor’s mission in occupational medicine. Our physicians understand the complex regulatory environment surrounding the health and safety of workers in diverse environments and can help evaluate workplace hazards and mitigate risk. Our teams can articulate best practices for evaluation and treatment of injuries and illness when they occur.
Medcor’s consulting executive physicians assist executives in responding to the question of when it is safe to re-open so that the environments the company operates are not at risk for infection and spreading COVID-19. They also help design the most effective social distancing procedures once locations resume business. With so much conflicting information that’s changing by the day, it’s important to have an expert who can interpret all the data to determine the course of action that best serves its customer base. Retaining a consulting executive physician sends an important signal to the customer and community and strengthens the company’s brand and image.
SARS-Cov-2 and the COVID-19 pandemic have radically altered the definition of “workplace” and placed unique strains on employers and employees. Medcor’s teams have assisted companies with implementing screening and testing protocols, onsite safety, and return-to-work programs. Medcor’s physicians have closely monitored pandemic trends, providing real-time feedback and advice on vaccine event planning and workforce strategies to maximize worker safety and productivity.
Medcor’s consulting executive physicians assist companies to navigate varying health regulations and protocols at every level: global (World Health Organization), national (Centers for Disease Control), regional, state, and local. Since guidance is often complex and conflicting, our consulting executive physicians help companies translate the local, national, and international guidances into practical and actionable plans. Without this type of medical leadership, a single misstep can lead to a PR nightmare, lasting brand damage and expensive lawsuits.
Medcor offers physician consulting services through its medical directorship program. These services are scalable, and engagements range from one-time consultations through ongoing guidance.
Medcor’s executive physician consulting services may include the following action items:
- Acting as a corporate or company Medical Director
- COVID-19 pandemic preparedness
- Supervising onsite clinical staff and collaborating with peers
- Teaching educational courses on coaching and prevention
- Identifying specific exposure hazards or patterns of injury
- Evaluating injuries and illnesses and recommending care
- Advising employees who are preparing for travel or working abroad
- Conducting workplace health audits and presenting findings
- Overseeing emergency response programs and personnel
- Reviewing medical findings in workers’ compensation cases
- Facilitating leave and disability management evaluations
- Development and review of corporate health and safety programs and initiatives
- Employee wellness and preventive medicine programs
- Travel medicine
- Oversight of biological screening and immunization programs
- Medical Review Officer (MRO) and substance abuse
- Chart reviews and medical determinations
- Medical surveillance
- Crisis response
- OSHA-mandated hazardous materials program consultation
Medcor’s Executive Physician and Physician Consulting Services provide an array of services to clients in need of support at the intersection of employment and health. Our services can be custom-tailored to meet your needs and help your company promote and maintain health in the workplace.
Patrick Thomas, “Covid-19 Is Elevating New Type of Executive: Chief Medical Officer,” Wall Street Journal, August 10, 2020.
Emma Jacobs, “Chief medical officers are now at the heart of business,” Financial Times, March 27, 2021.
Co-Authored by David McLarnon, PT, MBA