Operating an onsite health center is one of the best benefits employers can offer employees, and one that is sure to help attract and retain top talent. Onsite health risk management helps employees live their healthiest lives, which in turn helps employers by reducing healthcare costs and increasing productivity. It’s a true win-win.
Once an employer makes the decision to pursue a population health risk management model, the gears start moving to get the onsite health center up and running. However, there is a lot of work that needs to done behind the scenes before “go live” can occur.
Consider the Following to Ensure a Seamless Operation
Make sure management, operations, and culture are aligned around health as an important business driver, and that leadership actively demonstrates support of innovative health programs.
Before implementation can begin, employers must decide if they want to establish an on-site or near-site employee health center. To save on costs, we recommend retrofitting existing space if it is available. Even 800 square-feet of space can suffice in many cases. We recommend on-site health centers in most circumstances, as health centers located directly on-site will help increase engagement.
In cases where a near-site model is required – at a school district, for example – we recommend establishing a health center that is centrally located for all employees. It’s important to make the health center space inviting and distinguish it from a drab hospital setting. If possible, allow employees to visit the health center during working hours without having to take time off. These will go a long way toward increasing engagement, and, ultimately, improving health and lowering costs.
Clinical Team Review
The most important aspect of guaranteeing a return on investment when opening an onsite health center is hiring the right clinical staff. When patients understand the choices that impact their health, they achieve their best possible health and lower costly health risks. The key to helping the employees assume greater responsibility and accountability for their own health is the ability of the healthcare professional to function as a coach.
In addition to medical expertise, the core competencies and core behaviors of an ideal health coach include approachability, compassion, and listening skills, as well as being organized, action-oriented and driving for results. Whether the clinician is an MD, mid-level clinician, or RN, what matters most is that they have those core competencies.
The best way to ensure a successful engagement strategy for an onsite health center is to identify health risks at the outset. We recommend identifying risk by analyzing claims, biometric screening, and Health History and Risk Assessment data. Using all three data sets, clinical staff are able to develop a composite of each employee’s health status and establish a specific care model.
The above criteria are critical to establishing a successful onsite health center. If you adhere to these principles, you are ready to move forward.