Employee absenteeism and health care premium costs are major concerns for big companies. More and more companies are addressing this with their own fully functional onsite health clinics.
Onsite clinics allow businesses to significantly cut health care costs by avoiding billing insurance as often, which also helps to keep premiums lower.
Check out these 5 key steps to getting started building a worksite health clinic.
Starting an Onsite Wellness Clinic:
Guide for HR Execs
1. Do Your Homework & Get Buy-In
Like any major change, deciding to build a worksite health clinic requires that key players are enthusiastic about the idea. Your company culture will dictate the best way to get buy-in from your employees. Starting with a comprehensive survey to assess employee interest and needs is a great way to start.
Your CEO will have different concerns about an onsite health clinic -- and they're likely financial concerns. Put together a presentation using examples of companies who have had success with onsite clinics. From there, you can assure decision-makers that you'll be able to start small and grow the program as needed.
2. Plan Your Onsite Health Program
Once everyone is on-board, get down to brass tacks. How will your onsite clinic be organized and run? Who is eligible to use the services: all employees or only full time employees? What about employees that don't participate in the company health plan? Maybe there is a small fee for employees with their own health plan, and for dependents of employees -- or maybe not.
What hours and days will the clinic be open, and who will staff it? Do you want a selection of common prescription medicine available onsite? These questions and more can be answered by the survey you started with.
3. Draw Up Blueprints
Some companies start their onsite health clinic in a lightly modified spare room. This helps them assess how the program might work before making bigger renovations to an office building.
Knowing how comprehensive a health clinic you want will determine what kind of space you'll need. How big of a waiting room do you need and how many clinic rooms? What about the pharmacy and reception desk? Will labs be drawn onsite?
You'll want to consider all applicable storage needs for supplies and patient files. Consider having two sets of blueprints drawn-up: one for a bare-bones clinic, and one for a more comprehensive clinic.
4. Breaking Ground on Your Worksite Wellness Clinic
Like any construction project, when building out your onsite health clinic, it's wise to over-budget and over-schedule for it. Construction can be disruptive to daily work life so you'll need to plan around it.
If possible, consider allowing employees to telecommute as much as possible during the construction phase. This could also be an excellent time to plan a company-wide off-site meeting or retreat.
Upon completion, holding an opening ceremony for the clinic with healthy appetizers and music is a great way to build excitement and re-establish company health goals.
5. Monitor & Assess
As the program gets underway, keep track of what's working and what's not. Give employees opportunities to provide anonymous feedback on how the program is working for them.
Assessing the effects of an onsite health clinic is an ongoing process. Track data such as absenteeism and worksite injuries before the program has begun, and compare it to data taken after the program has been established.