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Future Trends in Onsite Health Clinics: Embracing Technology and Innovation 

future trends in onsite health clinics

The landscape of occupational healthcare, just like traditional healthcare, is ever-changing to respond to new technology, needs and regulations. The right onsite health clinic provider for your organization’s needs will not only understand what’s current in occupational health but is already anticipating and preparing for changes coming down the pipeline. 

Here’s what you need to know about future trends in onsite health clinics and how those that properly embrace technology and innovation are at the forefront of care for your workers. 

The Evolution of Onsite Health Clinics 

Traditionally, onsite health clinics were utilized only when a worker was injured on the job. Medical professionals assessed the worker’s condition and, when appropriate, rendered care there at the clinic. Those workers who needed a higher level of care than the clinic could provide were sent to an offsite medical facility, often an emergency room or urgent care facility. 

This model worked well for many years and helped keep workers with less significant injuries on the job. It also reduced the costs of work-related medical treatment for employers. 

In recent years, however, many organizations began to get serious about reducing their workers’ compensation claim and OSHA recordables rates. While onsite health clinics still play a crucial role in reducing the use of offsite care when a worker is injured, they have become more proactive in helping workers avoid injuries. 

Utilizing methods such as ergonomic assessments, early symptom intervention and wellness initiatives, modern onsite health clinics focus on keeping workers healthy. This boosts worker productivity and improves health outcomes when workers do become injured while simultaneously reducing the cost of work-related injuries for businesses. 

Emerging Trends in Onsite Health Clinics 

In response to shifts in occupational health, onsite health clinics have grown and adapted their offerings, working hard to stay at the forefront of care for workers. 

Proactive Monitoring and Early Intervention 

As the costs related to workers’ compensation have steadily increased — the average cost for a workers’ comp claim in 2020 to 2021 was $41,757, according to National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) data — organizations have shifted their care focus to prioritizing accident prevention whenever possible. This not only saves them money in avoided workers’ comp claims, but it preserves worker productivity and helps decrease the costs that stem from injury-related absenteeism.  

Many occupational healthcare providers have begun to offer a broader range of services at onsite health clinics that fall into the category of “prevention,” including industrial athletic trainers, ergonomic assessments and early symptom intervention. These strategies work to identify those workers who may be at risk of an occupational injury and attempt to avoid an accident, or at least decrease the severity of a potential future injury. 

Because onsite health clinic staff are present at your worksite during regular operational hours, they can observe your workers and identify anyone who may be on a path to a future injury. Those workers they’ve already built a relationship with can be closely monitored to ensure that work modifications, such as a redesigned workstation, are impactful. And, if onsite health clinic staff notice that a strategy isn’t working, they can develop a plan to adjust it before any further damage to the worker occurs. 

Integration of Virtual Solutions 

In-person care is preferable, as it allows workers one-on-one access to a medical professional. However, that isn’t always a solution available to workers of all shifts, as organizations may operate 24 hours but only support an onsite health clinic for 40 hours a week. Some specialized services also may be inaccessible to workers entirely if an in-person model is the only consideration, as the demand for these services may not be great enough to support a full-time healthcare professional. 

Occupational healthcare providers that have shifted to supporting both in-person and virtual models have allowed workers access to a wider array of services. If, for example, a full-time mental health professional isn’t an option for an employer, offering virtual appointments to that company’s workers gives them access to these services at a much lower cost for the employer. 

Virtual solutions, including 24/7 injury and illness triage for those workers without immediate access to an in-person onsite clinic, keep occupational healthcare providers more nimble and able to offer more quality, necessary care to workers. 

Focus on Mental Health and Wellbeing Services 

As the old proverb says, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is true for employers that prioritize their employees’ mental health and wellbeing. The healthier workers are overall, the less likely they are to get injured at work. 

To aid organizations in keeping workers healthier, onsite health clinics have expanded to offer a wider variety of mental health and wellbeing services. This may include virtual mental health appointments, one-on-one wellness coaching or smoking cessation programs. In many cases, these services are individualized to the needs of a specific workforce, addressing their most pressing needs. 

Utilizing Data for Predictive Care 

Trying to track patterns in work-related injuries without the right tools can be difficult. Without the proper collection and analysis of key incident data — location, type of incident, outcome and more — your workers could continually experience similar injuries over a period of months or years without you ever acting. 

Onsite health clinics collect a great deal of data from your injured workers, and they’re utilizing it to track trends and patterns that could impact your incident rates.  

If your clinic staff notices that a handful of workers who perform similar job functions have visited them, even over a span of a couple of years, complaining about elbow pain, they’ll work with you to investigate any potential occupational causes. Perhaps these employees all use the same piece of equipment which sends vibrations up their arm, leading to repetitive strain in their elbows. 

By identifying that the machinery is the root cause of this elbow pain, you and your clinic staff can seek ways to adjust conditions for your workers to prevent additional pain. 

Benefits of Embracing Technology and Innovation in Onsite Health Clinics 

As with many other aspects of life, leveraging technology and innovation correctly can help your organization see improvements in worker health, injury rates and costs. 

Enhanced Accessibility and Convenience 

Technology allows employers to offer a broader range of occupational health services than they may otherwise be able to financially and logistically support. Workers can receive skilled injury triage or wellness coaching, for example, and organizations don’t have to pay to house a clinic that covers all worker shifts. 

This expands worker access to care, helping them stay safe, healthy and productive. 

Improved Health Outcomes 

When workers have access to convenient care, they are more likely to seek care even when their needs aren’t emergent. This allows onsite health clinic staff to intervene for more minor complaints, making changes that could prevent further injury. 

Additionally, the faster an injured worker receives skilled injury assessment and treatment, the faster they can begin to heal. Being able to visit an onsite clinic immediately after injury — rather than potentially waiting hours at an emergency room — means workers get evaluation and care recommendations quickly. 

Cost Savings 

With rising costs for worker healthcare, OSHA fines and workers’ compensation claims, finding ways to reduce the costs of work-related injuries is essential to a thriving, profitable organization. Partnering with an onsite health clinic that utilizes technology and innovation to provide quality care to your workers, helping them avoid injury and return to work faster after accidents, you reduce your costs. 

Based on NCCI data, helping even one worker avoid a strain-related injury could save an average of $36,200 in medical and indemnity costs. Avoiding one neck injury could save an average of $65,659. 

Getting workers the evaluation and treatment appropriate for their condition allows your organization to prevent these costly workers’ comp claims while giving your workers exceptional care. 

Your Onsite Health Clinic Partner 

At Medcor, it is our mission to help organizations of all types and sizes reduce costs, avoid incidents and keep workers healthy and high performing. Our onsite clinics bring care to your team — wherever they are — navigating injured workers to the right level of care, at the right time and in the right place. Are you ready to explore what an onsite clinic can do for your organization? Speak with an advocate today.