Operating an onsite health center is a significant investment of time and resources so it’s understandable that executives want to know how their company would benefit before they make the investment.
What You Need to Determine Before Investing in Onsite Health
Before we lay out the benefits, it’s important for members of the C-suite to determine if the following attributes describe their company:
- Management, operations, and culture are aligned around health as an important business driver
- Leadership actively demonstrates support of innovative health programs
- A demonstrated, long-term interest in the health and well-being of employees and their families
- A desire to become or maintain a status as an “employer of choice” in the community
- A fundamental belief that the current healthcare system is broken and that new, innovative solutions are needed
The above criteria are critical to establishing a successful onsite health center. If you adhere to these principles, you are ready to move forward.
Stripped to its most fundamental element, the main benefit of an onsite health center to an employer is a simple equation: healthier employees = lower healthcare costs.
That part is obvious. It’s the “how” part that executives want more information on.
Key Features of Onsite Health
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.
Another key feature is the health center space. The ideal location is one centrally located for all employees to make services as accessible as possible. 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.