The physical and mental well-being of workers is strongly correlated with improved productivity. According to a recent paper written by US Surgeon General Jerome Adams, “research shows that employees who are in good physical, mental and emotional health are more likely to deliver optimal performance in the workplace than those who are not.”1
Data from the CDC, however, makes it clear that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on worker well-being — research shows an increase in worker absenteeism across critical infrastructure occupations as the crisis ramped up earlier this year.2
As a result, employers are now looking for ways to improve overall worker health and reduce the risk of on-the-job injuries or accidents. The challenge? Despite best efforts, many companies lack the internal infrastructure to create these kinds of preventative programs.
What is OccMed? Occupational Medicine
OccMed focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of workplace illnesses, injuries, and the overall health of employees. OccMed Physicians are highly trained professionals that are specifically experienced in ensuring the well-being of employees. In general OccMed physicians are more effective in the field than primary care physicians. They mainly focus on the prevention and management of injuries and illnesses, through creating treatment plans and having regular examinations.
In order for OccMed to be successful in a workplace, physicians should be checking in directly with employees and employers on a regular basis to guarantee the health of the workers. It’s important to participate in OccMed because workplace injuries and illnesses can be very expensive. In addition to insurance and injury costs, the workplace/other employees have to deal with retraining new workers, general interruptions, and a decreased work-rate.
Here are five ways Occupational Medicine (OccMed) companies can help bridge the employee health gap.
1) Initiate Employee Assessments
While it’s impossible to completely eliminate on-the-job risk, employers can reduce potential performance problems with comprehensive pre-employment assessments.3 OccMed companies can streamline this process with screenings that evaluate physical and mental health in addition to compiling prospective employees’ personal health history. Complete pre-employment data helps employers assign staff to tasks that match existing ability levels.
2) Implement Wellness Education
Given the continually changing nature and scope of the COVID crisis, wellness education is a moving target for employers. Recent CDC guidance suggests that all businesses should implement and update COVID health plans that are specific to the workplace, identify all areas and tasks that may include potential exposure, and deploy measures to reduce exposure risks.4 Here, OccMed firms are ideally positioned to help companies assess their risk and implement staff education efforts that help limit COVID concerns.
3) Increase Patient Engagement
Value-added health services form the basis of enterprise wellness programs, but only deliver optimal outcomes if employees are engaged in the process. OccMed companies are ideally positioned to help employers deploy and optimize these programs. By leveraging platforms that provide access to secure, virtual visits, protected text messaging and on-demand appointment scheduling, OccMed firms can help companies better connect with their workers and monitor their ongoing health.
4) Individualize health offerings
Every employer is different. As a result, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all preventative health program. To effectively manage multiple programs across different industries with unique health goals, it’s critical for OccMed providers to offer on-demand, individualized health offerings. The caveat? This requires adaptable workflow, billing, and management tools powered by agile EHR frameworks.
5) Improve data access
Preventative health programs depend on the judicious application of timely information. If OccMed testing discovers potential concerns related to specific staff members, quick action is critical to prevent performance interruption or injury. Here, secure access to online health data portals allows managers to easily access employee results for injury assessments and drug-testing results, allowing employers to take corrective action and OccMed staff to focus on patient care.
Bottom line? The right preventative health program can help companies both reduce on-site risk and boost employees’ overall well-being to drive increased productivity while minimizing downtime.
Discover how Net Health® for Occupational Medicine (Agility®) can help your OccMed agency create preventative health programs and boost client satisfaction.
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1Sage Journals Public Health Reports, “The Value of Worker Well-Being,” October 19, 2019.
2CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), “Increases in Health-Related Workplace Absenteeism Among Workers in Essential Critical Infrastructure Occupations During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, March–April 2020,” July 10, 2020.
3Harvard Business Review, “Ace the Assessment,” August 2015.
4CDC COVID-19, “Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers Responding to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19),” December 4, 2020.