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Easy Access to Care: How Onsite Clinics Can Mitigate Lost Time for Injured Workers

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April 5, 2024 in Health & Safety
By Medcor

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In 2022, there were nearly 350,000 lost time claims in Canada — that’s more than 900 work-related illnesses or injuries resulting in time away from work every day. Not only do these claims cost employers the money related to each lost-time claim, but they cost businesses billions in lost productivity.

The key to reducing lost time due to on-the-job injuries is twofold: Avoiding injuries before they happen, and getting injured workers prompt treatment so they can return to their duties more quickly.

Onsite clinics can be utilized by employers in every industry to prevent conditions that could lead to costly lost-time injuries and decrease time away from work for when those injuries do happen.

Onsite Clinics and Injury Prevention

While onsite clinics are incredible tools for helping workers get prompt, skilled care when they’re injured, they can also be key players in overall injury prevention at your organization.

Clinic staff spend their working hours at your facility, getting to know your workers and your worksite. When they aren’t busy helping your team, they walk around your facility, observing how your workers move while doing their jobs. This can help them identify conditions that can be fixed to prevent injuries, such as increasing monitor height to avoid neck strain or relocating boxes to avoid persistent twisting that could lead to a lower back injury.

Your workers also can visit your onsite clinic with those small, nagging aches and pains that haven’t yet risen to the level of injury. Clinic staff can help your workers make changes to their work behaviors now, avoiding further damage that could lead to injury.

Preventing injuries before they occur keeps your team working, cutting down on absenteeism and days away from work to recuperate from accidents.

Onsite Clinics and Prompt Injury Response

Many work-related injuries can be managed with basic first aid, avoiding the need for a worker to visit an offsite emergency department. With an onsite clinic, your workers get the care they need shortly after an injury occurs and return to work.

With traditional offsite injury care, an injured worker must leave your worksite and travel to their nearest suitable medical facility. There, they must wait to be seen by a provider and receive treatment. Depending on how busy the medical facility is, your worker could require the remainder of the workday off duties simply to be told they just needed first aid treatment.

An onsite clinic allows your injured workers to be seen right away, with those minor injuries being treated quickly so your employees can return to work. Studies show that the faster injured workers receive care for their injuries, the faster they’re able to heal and resume their regular duties, even for more serious injuries that require recuperation time.

By offering prompt injury evaluation and treatment to your workers onsite, they can get care faster, reducing their time away from work.

Onsite Clinics and Injury Rehabilitation

When an injury requires offsite treatment, it can be difficult to know that your workers are receiving care appropriate for their condition. Unless you have someone dedicated to keeping track of all the appointments, care recommendations and providers your injured employees have, you may not be able to ensure that overtreatment and overprescription isn’t occurring.

Workers who receive treatment that’s appropriate for their condition — and nothing more or less — return to work more quickly and have better health outcomes. If you have an employee with a rotator cuff injury, for example, they should not be prescribed physical therapy that’s better suited for someone with bursitis. The incorrect type of care can exacerbate an injury and slow down the healing process, keeping your worker away from their duties for longer periods of time.

Your onsite clinic team can help you keep track of the care your workers receive offsite, ensuring they are not receiving inappropriate care and that they are making satisfactory progress. Additionally, depending on the makeup of your onsite clinic, some of the rehabilitation-focused care and follow-up services can be managed by your care team, decreasing the need for your workers to travel to an offsite facility.

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