Having an on-site medical clinic is a growing trend among large organizations, according to Fast Company. On-site clinics can not only lower employer health care costs, they’re also more convenient and accessible for workers than traditional doctor visits. With a focus on preventative care and fast turn around, it’s an great employee benefit to offer while also cutting down work productivity drains. It’s a win-win for both parties.
Telemedicine vs. On-Site Clinics
What the the Fast Company article hasn’t considered is the growing use of telemedicine services such as MDLIVE, Teladoc, and Doctor on Demand. With telemedicine, employees can easily reach providers by video, without companies having to build big expensive clinics.
Moreover, as the article acknowledges, a big consideration of on-site clinics is privacy. Companies that build clinics on site need to position them far away from Human Resources and provide spacious waiting rooms. Even those measures may not be enough. And of course, building a large clinic in your office building is not exactly cheap. By using telemedicine, employees can see a doctor over encrypted video anywhere there is an Internet connection, making it easier to maintain patient privacy and remain HIPAA-compliant.
Mayo Clinic, UMMC, and Walgreens Using Telemedicine
Many companies are already offering different telemedicine solutions. For example, at the Mayo Clinic’s campus in Austin, TX, employees can get a health check-up just by stepping into a private kiosk. Inside the kiosk employees can check their vital signs, contact a nurse practitioner via video and send visuals from imaging devices such as a dermatoscope and iris scope.
The University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) also uses telehealth to provides convenient urgent care services to corporations and colleges. Users can reach a doctor from the comfort of their desk or home by “walking in” to a VSee virtual waiting room – no appointment necessary. You can read more about the case study here.
Retail pharmacy behemoth, Walgreens has also been offering telehealth services in partnership with MDLIVE through their Walgreens mobile app. They recently expanded their telemedicine offerings to an additional 3 states, as well as making service available on desktop and tablet devices.
Having a physical clinic at the worksite might make sense for big companies with lots of employees. But most businesses don’t have the money, space, or know-how to offer such a luxury to their staff. For most of us, the answer to occupational health is simple – user-friendly telemedicine.
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