Amid the rising cost of health care and current labor challenges, employers are increasingly investing in employee health and well-being as an essential part of their workforce strategy. Many organizations see a strong connection between employee health and well-being and their overall business performance. With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that employers are now investing in on-site health care to reign in medical costs and improve employee wellness.
What’s On-site Health Care?
On-site health care refers to employers bringing wellness and medical services directly to their employees by establishing wellness programs or health care centers at or near the workplace. On-site health care can provide a full range of services, including advanced primary care, chronic condition management, physical therapy, wellness coaching and behavioral and mental health support. It can also provide increased efficiency for routine services, such as wellness visits, blood draws and vaccines by reducing travel and wait times.
Many organizations, especially smaller ones, are unable to provide full-range on-site health care. These organizations, however, are making on-site health care services available to their employees by providing access to telehealth and offering routine or tailored services within the workplace such as wellness programs and health coaching. This allows even smaller organizations to better and more efficiently focus on employee well-being while addressing their rising health care expenses.
Why Organizations Invest in On-site Health Care
On-site health care attempts to remove employee barriers related to accessing high-quality health care. By eliminating scheduling, transportation and childcare challenges, employees are more likely to utilize health care services, helping them to improve their health and organizations to reduce their overall health care expenses. Unlike traditional, one-size-fits-all approaches to health care, on-site health care allows employers to customize services to fit their employees’ needs, thereby providing benefits employees will utilize while also reducing expenses.
Benefits of On-site Health Care
On-site health care can help employers deliver high-quality health care to their employees while minimizing overall medical expenses. For many organizations, it can offer measurable health improvements for their workforce and provide a way to stand out among their competitors.
The benefits of investing in on-site health care may include:
- Convenient access to health care—On-site care tends to remove barriers that may prevent employees from seeking medical care and treatment. For example, employees do not need to take time off from work, travel or wait for open appointments with on-site health care. On-site providers primarily serve the employer and, as a result, see few patients. Employees can often schedule same- or next-day appointments, ensuring they receive prompt care. With fewer patients, providers can spend more time with individuals to better understand their needs. On-site health care centers may also dispense medications and perform lab work, allowing employees to save time by not having to travel to a pharmacy or testing center.
- Talent attraction and retention—On-site health care can give organizations a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining skilled workers. Employees generally rate on-site health care as a top benefit, so employers providing this service may see an increase in employee satisfaction and higher retention rates. Moreover, employers who invest in on-site health care send a strong message to employees and potential employees that they value employee health and well-being and are committed to supporting their workers.
- Improved understanding of employees’ health needs—On-site health care allows employers to be better informed about their employees’ medical needs. With traditional health care, workers generally see a variety of providers scattered throughout multiple facilities, whereas on-site health care providers typically serve a single employer. These providers tend to be embedded in a workplace’s culture, allowing them to better understand an organization’s employees and their unique needs. This understanding lets providers and employers offer more focused solutions. Providers can actively monitor employees, address real-time needs, optimize health care services and personalize employee outreach.
Deciding to Invest in On-site Health Care
Bringing health care services on-site has helped employers reduce their rising health care expenses and limit the time employees spend out of the office to visit the doctor; however, organizations need to weigh the costs and benefits of investing in on-site health care. On-site health care centers are a major investment, and employers may not see a return on this investment for many years.
For most organizations, providing full-range on-site health care is not feasible. However, as a result of flexible and innovative health care offerings, on-site health care is becoming more available to all organizations through outsourced services. For example, some employers are providing on-site health care services in the form of routine or tailored offerings, such wellness visits, preventive screenings, health coaching, lab work and vaccines. Some employers are partnering with other organizations in shared health care centers to reduce expenses. Additionally, telehealth allows employers of all sizes to expand care options and improve employee health outcomes with convenient access. This allows organizations to focus on employee health and well-being, giving them an edge over their competitors.
Employee wellness is typically the foundation of any successful organization. Many employers are now taking a more active role in supporting the overall health and well-being of their employees. Finding innovative ways to keep employees healthy while reducing medical expenses is critical to an organization’s long-term success. For some employers, providing wellness programs, health coaching or on-site health care may be one of the best ways to accomplish this feat.
For information on effective & preventive employee wellness programs, contact American Health & Wellness.