Occupational Medicine (OccMed) medical assistants/nurses are in a leadership position, whether they work on-site for a business or at an independent or hospital-owned clinic. By working directly with patients and their employers, OccMed nurses play an integral role in keeping businesses operational.
Yet, amid long-standing nursing shortages1 and budget cuts, OccMed medical assistants/nurses sometimes need to justify the expenses of their many services to employers (including hospitals).2 Below, we’ll look at ways you can help quantify your impact so that the numbers speak for themselves, even when the work may be invisible to executives.
Talk About Tasks as Investments
As an OccMed medical assistant/nurse, it’s crucial to consider how each of your interactions adds value to a company, improves its reputation, and saves money.3 Your work is an investment in a company’s future, not simply an expenditure.
To boost your profile beyond the budget line item, “flip the script” and think of your work in terms of how it boosts business strategy. OccMed medical assistants/nurses don’t simply treat injuries, oversee mandatory testing and vaccinations, and sign paperwork to get employees back on the job. They also:
- Provide unique expertise to ensure a safe and compliant workplace
- Care for a company’s greatest assets – their people
- Help reduce absenteeism4
- Help increase worker productivity5
- Create a safety-forward work environment that improves employee satisfaction and lowers turnover rates.6
Quantify Your Contributions
The first step towards quantifying your contributions to a company is to identify tools that can help calculate the economic value of OccMed medical assistants/nursing services. This typically comes in the form of software that allows you to estimate the amounts that would have been billed for services at a hospital or unaffiliated clinic and compare them to your charges (or compare the totals against the company’s investment in the OccMed program).7
In some cases, this is easier said than done. But you can typically calculate costs and savings for services such as:
- Acute injury care, including X-rays and other diagnostic tests.
- Testing and monitoring everything from hearing and vision to blood pressure.
- Fit testing and the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Medical surveillance testing.
- Pre-placement examinations.
- Lab testing and the evaluation of results.
- Vocational rehabilitation.
- Counseling appointments
- CPR and first aid training
Illuminate the Hidden Value of OccMed Nursing
There’s no simple equation that will give you an exact number for the full benefits and savings you offer employers. But even estimates can make a significant impact, illuminate the services companies take for granted, and remind employers what they likely would have spent on lost productivity had they not invested in OccMed medical assistants/nursing services. You don’t just treat acute injuries, illnesses, and exposures, you also likely:
- Serve as an incentive for employees to stay with the company.
- Provide workers who may not have access to primary care physicians with preventative medical care.
- Investigate everything from on-site hazards to ergonomic issues (which are a leading cause of work-related injuries and long-term disabilities).8
- Conduct job placement assessments and manage back-to-work programs that get sick or injured workers back on the job and off of disability.
- Serve as a source of mental health care that may not otherwise be readily available to employees.9
- Assure an employer’s workplace is Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)-compliant.
- Complete mandatory compliance reports.
All of these contributions represent savings. But the question remains: “how much money?” That’s hard to quantify if you don’t have the right tools at your disposal.
Use OccMed Software to Show How You Benefit the Budget
Handing over multiple sets of lengthy reports and spreadsheets isn’t likely to make a big impression when it comes to budget considerations unless you’re already under scrutiny – and it also costs you precious time. But by simplifying your records and recording the value of your services while you work, you’ll always be ready to run the right report at the right time. That’s where OccMed software comes in.
Specifically-designed OccMed software can help establish benchmarks with employers, record the cost of treatment (even if it’s not billed out), help automatically code injuries by everything from where they took place to the body part involved, and add value to services by helping you predict where further incidents may occur. The best software can be customized for your specific needs.
None of us is immune to the need to measure our success and justify our expenses. But developing a system to track your value regularly will put you ahead of the curve when employers have questions and remind you just how much value you add to a workplace.
Net Health® Occupational Medicine is a software solution that can help OccMed medical nurses/nurses maintain compliance and measure success. Contact us if you’re ready to learn how our tools can help you keep employees safe and well.
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1 University of Saint Augustine for Health Sciences, “The 2021 American Nursing Shortage: A Data Study,” May 2021.
2 Relias Media, “AOHP: Occupational Health Programs Understaffed, Overworked,” April 1, 2017.
3 American Association of Occupational Health Nurses Journal, “Roles and Value Added Contributions of the Occupational Health Nurse,” March 2001.
4 American Association of Occupational Health Nurses Journal, “Occupational Health Nurses—The Solution to Absence Management?” March 2009.
5 Workplace Health & Safety, “Health Promotion and Productivity in the Workplace: The Occupational and Environmental Health Nurse Role in Supporting the Workforce Using NIOSH’s Total Worker Health® Approach,” November 6, 2020.
6 Occupational Health & Safety, “Four Quick Wins to Improve Safety & Decrease Employee Turnover,” April 1, 2022.
7 Workplace Health & Safety, “Establishing the Value of Occupational Health Nurses’ Contributions to Worker Health and Safety: A Pilot Test of a User-Friendly Estimation Tool,” January 2014.
8 Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders & Ergonomics,” February 12, 2020.
9 The Street, “Supportive Mental Health Environment Can Save Companies Millions,” June 2, 2016.