Understanding the Importance of Occupational Medicine
Occupational medicine is a type of medical treatment that involves both maintaining the health as well as the safety of both workers and employees. Medical professionals must receive specialized training to handle work-related injuries. While the term occupational medicine is a broad description of a field that incorporates a large selection of disciplines, the importance of occupational medicine is inarguable. In the occupational medicine field, there are physicians, nurses, specialists who have received specialized training to both care for injured employees and keep employers up-to-date on both state and federal regulations that involve workplace health. An occupational medicine clinic will have a solid comprehension on the regulations for Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Department of Transportation, and the Federal Aviation Administration, Not only are those medical professionals that are involved in occupational medicine responsible for saving lives, but they also help redefine the safety and health rules for both business and corporate entities.
Why Your Practice Should Become an Occupational Medicine Clinic
By adding occupational medicine into your current practice, you are not only ensuring employee wellness, but also providing a consistent flow of business for your practice throughout the year. It ensures a consistent flow of business throughout the year. It also helps increase the annual revenue, and patient volume of a clinic. It builds awareness for your practice when patients need medical care outside of work situations.
Implementing occupational medicine into your medical clinic offers other benefits too:
- Maintaining the overall health and safety of those who have been injured in the workplace with the help of specialized training
- Improving the overall productivity of employees
- Keeping track of potentially unreported injuries in the workplace
- Increasing the efficiency of your clinic by improving the wellness and productivity of your own medical staff
With an increase in workplace injuries along with strict healthcare laws, there’s been a considerable demand for professional occupational health clinics.
How to Turn Your Practice Into the Ideal Occupational Medical Clinic for Local Employers
To become the preferred occupational medicine clinic by employers, you need to offer complete, specialized occupational medicine services. These services should include exposure evaluations, random drug tests, vaccinations, educational sessions, as well as association with referrals who are available on call to treat workplace injuries.
Find Potential Candidates to Bring on Your Occupational Medicine Team
There are a number of factors that that you can consider to identify the best potential candidates. Depending on the availability, there may be times where a nurse practitioner, a chiropractor, or a physician’s assistant will be the best option for your medical practices need. To find doctors who have a special interest in occupational medicine, you can take a look at the website for the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. You can also choose to locate your state or county medical society for orthopedic, chiropractic, family medicine groups and ask for a list of members that are listed in the occupational health committee.
Once you’ve figured out what position you’re interested in hiring, it’s important that you travel to their facility and inspect the interior. To get a better idea of how a position works with others, ask their staff, and coworkers questions about their overall work ethic. As you’re checking out their facility, you should be keeping an eye out for credentials, access, and proficiency.
For access, you should make sure that their sttaff you are recruiting lines within a reasonable distance from your clinic. You should also make sure that the position is willing to take on new patients as well as patients who are entering under their care as a Workmen’s Compensation case. In addition, make sure that the physician you’re interested in hiring operates during the same time as your clinic. They also need to be able to take any walk in visits and any urgent appointments. Lastly, they must be able to perform prevention consulting, occupational therapy services, and job evaluations.
A position that’s willing to work under your occupational medicine team needs to have accredited medical education, as well as postgraduate training, a current and unrestricted medical license, a history that demonstrates a basic medical understanding, and overall strong morales. Make an effort to identify if the position has ever had a significant medical malpractice case or a record of severe or multiple complaints from the medical licensing board. The credentials that the position has should be verified through NCQA. The average physician who has privileges that coincide with the hospital will have this independently verified. In addition, the physician should have a current certification that’s in their current field of practice.
Lastly, we need to identify the proficiency of the position to encourage local employers to use your clinic for their occupational medical needs. To ensure that the physician you’re considering hiring is able to provide high-quality occupational health services, there are several pieces of background that you should identify for the care provider. The first thing to check for is a documented history of past professional experience, work samples that act as demonstrative evidence that measures proficiency, work from any specialized coursework, and a continuance of medical education. In addition, the position that you’re going to hire for your clinic should have experience treating Worker’s Compensation injuries consistently. They should also be familiar with the overall system of Worker’s Compensation, along with an understanding of treating Worker’s Compensation injuries. Identifying membership in the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine or Worker’s Compensation committee in a state or county committee can prove the physician’s experience and competency. Versatility This physician should also have a solid comprehension of the family medical leave act, as well as the Americans with disabilities act, as these two laws are commonly implemented in workplace injury cases. The physician should be proficient in understanding protocols and procedures that are required to work on cases in a particular industry or in hazardous situations. They should have experience working with cases related to injuries, skin burns, rashes, musculoskeletal conditions, and other common injuries associated with Workmen’s Compensation cases surrounding your location. If the employers in your area are in a heavily regulated industry or a hazardous industry, this medical professional has to be familiar with the Medical Review Officer regulatory requirements, the Department of Transportation regulatory requirements, surveillance programs that have been mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, as well as a regulation of hazardous materials. In addition, if you’ve decided that your occupational medicine clinic will be providing impairment ratings or independent medical examinations, the physician should be proficient in producing high-quality written reports, be comfortable with testifying in court, and in providing unbiased conclusions.
Additional Criteria for Occupational Medicine Providers
Another great criteria to look for is Referral relationship. Does the occupational medicine physician have a great rapport with specialists in the local area? They might have to recommend patients to a specialist for further investigation. This will not only help reduce the overall cost of operation for your clinic but will also encourage faster recovery time patient.
A quick summary of desired eligibility for Occupational Medicine Provider:
- Appropriate credentials
- Relevant experience
- Aim to minimize the need for life disruptions, as well as work disability, for the patients within their care
- Provide relevant information and guidance to employers for Workmen’s Compensation issues.
- Good Referral relationship
Becoming the Ideal Occupational Medical Clinic for Local Employers
Many clinics (like urgent care) are choosing to add additional services like Occupational Medicine (Occ Med) to increase profitability of their practice. Occ Med has been one of the popular additions to a physicians practice. It ensures a consistent flow of business throughout the year. It also helps increase the annual revenue, and patient volume of a clinic. It builds awareness for your practice when patients need medical care outside of work situations.
Are you interested in finding other tools that’ll help you streamline your occupational medicine at your clinic? Click here to learn more.