What we know about onsite clinics is sometimes outweighed by what we think we know.

The Alliance recently gathered information about its members’ experiences with onsite clinics in an pdfexecutive summary. It also surveyed Alliance members who do not currently participate in a clinics about their potential interest in offering this service to their employees.

The combined results reveal a sizable gap between actual clinic operations and assumptions made by those who have little exposure to onsite medical care. Comparing expectations with reality is one way to boost understanding for all employers.

Misconception Reality

I don’t have space for a clinic.

A clinic can be launched in a small office. Some companies have used small modular units similar to “mobile homes” to provide clinic space.

Employees won’t trust us to give good care.

Employees will need reassurance that medical information will be confidential; services will be provided by trained medical professionals; and medical staff will do what is right for the patient, regardless of cost. As you meet that standard and satisfied employees share stories with co-workers, trust will grow.

We are too small to support a clinic.

Services can be shared by nearby companies or employers with the same parent company to help smaller companies gain access.

Onsite clinics don’t pay off.

Return on investment is achieved with better management of chronic conditions; earlier treatment of illness or injuries; fewer emergency room visits; improved productivity; reduced absenteeism; reinforcement of a “wellness culture;” and improved recruitment and retention.

We can’t afford the start-up costs.

Companies can reduce start-up costs by opening part-time with select services and medical staff, buying gently-used medical equipment, making use of unused space and sharing services.

There is a shortage of medical staff, so I’ll never find anyone to run it.

Doctors and other clinicians are often eager to work at onsite clinics because they want the ability to play a stronger role in prevention and treat people over time to improve health.

Onsite clinics must be _______ (fill in the blank).

Onsite clinics can be designed to meet the needs of a specific employer or a specific workforce. That means they may be free or charge a fee; serve employees only or family members as well; provide only medical care or offer services such as physical therapy or chiropractic care.

The Alliance is exploring ways to help both members with existing onsite clinics and members who are interested in starting an onsite clinic.