Occupational health refers to the identification and control of risks arising from physical, chemical and other healthcare incidents in the workplace. An occupational health care provider treats ill or injured patients on workers compensation. The quality of care that you receive from a provider is important in ensuring the best treatment. Some companies may pick providers based on word of mouth, this tactic may help weed out low-quality providers and find potential candidates, but it shouldn’t be the only factor in making a selection. Below are some of the most important aspects to look for in an occupational health provider.
- Clear Communication
The line of communication must be clear between the employer, the physician and the insurance company. If a worker experiences the recurrence of symptoms or problems, that employee should be seen by the physician right away. Further, the physician must clearly communicate the work status report details to the employee and employer. Open communication between patients and health care provider’s make patients follow- through on treatments more likely and ensures a better understanding of their diagnosis and treatment options. For the most up to date and accurate information, find an occupational healthcare provider that has an online portal which connects everyone in the process.
- Facilities & Patient Care
When assessing a provider, the quality of a facility is an important factor to take into consideration. An employer doesn’t want to send their workers to a center where the treatment they receive seems to lack the 3 C’s: care, customization, and consideration. Some providers may focus solely on a quick ‘cure’, but the ones that also look for preventative measures set them apart. A great provider may look at factors such as implementing ergonomic changes in the workforce or make observations about the workforce that will help them to determine the best form of treatment. Health-awareness information available to the patient might also help workers in preventing illnesses and injuries by making changes to their sleep regimen, diet or exercise. Such information provided by a center’s website or flyers available to a patient in the office can show the knowledgeable and quality care that you can be expected to receive under the centers care. Such providers should also offer onsite services to share this information directly with the employees.
- Qualified People
The employer should ensure that the provider has expertise in occupational health and safety with experience in occupational illnesses and injuries. The healthcare professional should have knowledge of legal and ethical standards related to the health care practice as well as workers compensation laws, which include local, state, and federal regulatory requirements; and systems for maintaining health records. Following HIPAA standards ensures the safety of your employee’s patient information. Besides having all of the proper qualifications, the people piece must be a fit. Are they organized and able to meet all of your occupational health needs? Choose a provider that is as professional as they are service-oriented.
- Knowledge of the Work Environment
To better understand the physical demands of the job and the general environment, it is important for a medical care provider to visit the worksite, if and when possible. Whether it is an office or a factory, this can help the doctor to understand what the job requires, how the doctor can make assumptions about whether or not the patient will be able to perform those duties in the condition that they are in before/after treatment. It is also important for the health care professional to look beyond the employee workstations. Other considerations may include the physical atmosphere of the facility which includes the condition of rooms, entrances, doorways and the way employees interact with each other.
- Return-To-Work & Outcomes
The best kind of health care providers are ones who understand the importance of return-to-work. Physicians should see patients in a prompt and timely manner and considering circumstances under which a patient can return to work. A physician should understand that people have restrictions, but should also be willing to consider what the person needs to get back to work. For example, in some situations, they will have to sit instead of stand or work for only a few hours once they return to work. The primary focus is to get the patient back to work so that they can make the workforce better, faster, and stronger. Return to work philosophy of physicians should be at the top of the list when employers consider an occupational health care provider to treat their ill or injured employees.
Nova Medical Centers operates more than 47 occupational medicine facilities across Georgia, Texas, Tennessee and Indiana. We treat more than 40,000 injuries each year and see more than 600,000 patient visits in 12 months. Wait times are minimal due to well-organized patient flow and treatment times without sacrificing quality medical care. Real-time web-based communication through Occuflex® allows Nova Medical Centers to coordinate and deliver one of the fastest return-to-work rates in occupational medicine. We achieve our success by providing exceptional, turnkey services for the health and wellness of America’s workforce and by delivering unparalleled cost savings to employers. These services include minor emergencies, injury care, pre-employment services, drug screens, physical therapy, online reporting and an expanded complement of occupational health services.