The Benefits of On-Site Health Clinics
These worksite clinics can be a great tool for employers and employees.
- By Chad Henriksen (DC)
- Aug 09, 2022
Sixteen million adults experience chronic back pain, limiting their daily activity and ability to work. According to a recent study, injured workers treated with chiropractic care first are less likely to need additional treatment, including prescription drugs or diagnostic testing. The same study found that treating exclusively with chiropractic care is associated with lower costs and a shorter duration of disability compared to people treated by other medical professionals.
In an effort to improve employees’ overall health and reduce ailments, corporate benefits and wellness leaders are advocating for and implementing on-site clinics to provide chiropractic, massage and acupuncture care directly at the workplace. Nearly three in four respondents (72 percent) of the 2021 Large Employers’ Health Care Strategy and Plan Design survey either have a clinic in place or will by 2023. Due to its vast benefits, employers are expanding services, with 34 percent offering primary care at the worksite, with an additional 26 percent planning to provide this service by 2023.
Over the past two decades, employer-sponsored worksite clinics offering primary care have grown in both prevalence and the scope of services offered. Today, many could be called true health centers, offering a full range of preventive, acute and chronic care services staffed with primary and complementary and integrative healthcare (CIH) professionals.
As an effective means of providing access to high-quality care, on-site clinics are proven to be both popular with employees and employers. While worksite programs are an investment, the payout for risk management, employee safety and overall health are tremendous. Here are three reasons why employers are implementing on-site programs.
1. Reduce workplace injury
An indirect cost of back pain and musculoskeletal conditions in general are sick days taken. Every year, about 83 million days of work are lost due to back pain, making it a leading reason for days off and creating limitations. However, on-site clinics bridge the gap between information and taking action in one’s health. Designed to reduce employee injury and enhance employee health and productivity, on-site clinics address underlying symptoms before an injury occurs.
With on-site care, practitioners educate and correct improper movements directly at the workplace to increase safety and reduce injuries. CIH providers can also identify symptoms before they become more significant ailments. For example, a mild low back sprain is significantly less expensive and easier to treat than a lumbar disc surgery. Similarly, workstation modifications are less disruptive than carpal tunnel surgery. On-site access to healthcare professionals directly in the workplace prevents injury and helps reduce unnecessary emergency room visits.
2. Unique health benefits increase employee safety
A recent Travelers report found that 35 percent of work injuries occur within someone’s first year on the job. With The Great Resignation simultaneously causing a spike in new hires, HR and benefits professionals are reevaluating and implementing unique health benefits to increase employee safety.
Organizations can reduce healthcare costs and better support safety by employing programs to improve the health and wellness of staff. As Americans continue to focus on their health, providing personalized and accessible healthcare benefits should be a top priority for recruiters.
3. Effective drug-free approach to care
As drug overdose deaths skyrocket, it is essential to focus on prevention and early intervention. For acute and chronic low back pain, The American College of Physicians strongly recommends starting with nonpharmacological treatments. Patients with increased access to CIH for pain management can address health issues before costly prescription drugs are needed. CIH, including chiropractic, acupuncture and massage therapy, provides effective and safe treatments for pain. By offering these services on-site, it can help reduce additional injury and risks at the workplace.
As more research uncovers the benefits of chiropractic and CIH, on-site clinics are a direct and tangible investment in employees’ health, safety and productivity. Programs are adaptable for businesses of all sizes and provide proactive and preventative healthcare in the workplace to position the employer as a true advocate for employee health and well-being.