The Benefits of Onsite Health Clinics in the Workplace

The Benefits of Onsite Health Clinics in the Workplace

Does your business offer an onsite health clinic to its workers? It may sound like an unnecessary expense that offers little or no value to your business, but research shows that it's a smart investment for employers. Like any investment, setting up an onsite health clinic costs money. However, it can benefit your business by improving workers' morale, reducing rates of illness and, according to a new study, lower the cost of healthcare spending.

A study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that employer of educational institutions benefited from lower healthcare costs when offering an onsite health clinic to their workers (teachers). When speaking about the study, researchers described it as "promising." They added, however, that the productivity benefits of such clinics remain unknown.

"Our findings suggest opening onsite health clinics may be one promising action that school organizations can take to help lower their health care costs," wrote the study's lead author. "But the evidence was less clear that such efforts meaningfully improve teacher productivity."

Basically, an onsite health clinic reduces costs associated with worker illness and injury. When a worker gets sick or is injured, it costs the employer money -- both in direct as well as indirect costs. This problem is compounded by the fact that many illnesses are infectious. When one worker catches a cold of flu infection, for instance, he or she may spread it to other workers. This creates a chain reaction in which multiple workers succumb to the same illness at once, thereby forcing the employer to exhaust significant time, money and resources to keep his or her business up and running.

It's important to note that this study focused specifically on educational institutions. It did not cover businesses in other industries or sectors. Nonetheless, researchers believe that these findings hold true for most businesses. When workers are given free access to an onsite health clinic, they'll have the tools and resources needed to improve their health.

Onsite health clinics have become increasingly popular in recent years. Statistics show that roughly one-quarter of U.S. businesses with 1,000 or more employees offer an onsite health clinic. To put this number into perspective, only 16% offered an onsite health clinic in 2016. Why are so many employers eager to offer onsite health clinics? As revealed in this study, it's an effective, simple way to lower healthcare spending. Perhaps even more importantly, though, it fosters a positive company culture that promotes increased worker satisfaction.

Jul 10th 2018

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