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VOL. 132 | NO. 242 | Thursday, December 7, 2017

Healthy Employees Key to a Healthy Business

By Reese Hodges

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Ask me how healthy a business is and my answer will usually be: “About as healthy as its team members.”

Salaries and benefits are, by far, the greatest costs for most companies, so protecting these investments is key to the success of any organization.

The Department of Labor notes that, on any given day, about 3 percent of an employer’s workforce is absent. What’s more, a recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management, noted that paid employee absences can cost employers more than 20 percent of their payroll expenses.

Many times, these absences can be due to chronic illness and risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity – issues that might be easily identified and treated by a health care professional.

It’s estimated that while more than 50 percent of employees have health issues, most do not have a primary care doctor. This begs the question: Could the cure for the common absentee problem be as simple as employees getting an annual physical?

Dr. Bill West, founder of HealthyHere, said, “Annual physicals are one of the best methods for understanding physical health and curtailing any health issues before they become more serious or life threatening.”

Providing annual physicals and greater access to health care can result in:

• More team members participating in regular preventative, primary care and follow-up visits.

• Better prevention, early detection and management of chronic illness such as diabetes and hypertension.

• Decrease in overall expenditure on pharmaceuticals.

• Decreased number of catastrophic health events.

• Enhanced health and wellness of team members.

A more recent trend is to bring the doctor to the patients via a mobile medical clinic. This reduces downtime and works particularly well for employers since their employees can complete an annual physical in about 25 percent of the time it takes to travel, wait and see a doctor in a traditional setting.

Plus, employers who provide a mobile clinic find that their team members take advantage of the annual physical offering, since it is convenient and often offered at no cost to employees.

The mobile clinic model is designed to reduce employer and employee cost, increase access to care, improve wellness and complete a doctor’s visit in a fraction of the time of a traditional office visit.

Many mobile clinics come with a variety of features one may only expect to see in a brick-and-mortar setting, including portable ultrasound machines, private rooms for physical exams, and the equipment necessary for performing on-board lab work and biometric measurements.

Locally, dozens of employers are leveraging the mobile medical clinic model to benefit their organization, team members and the bottom line.

After all, a healthy workforce is the lifeblood of any successful organization.

Reese Hodges is director of Operations for Lifesigns/HealthyHere. For more information, visit healthyhere.com.

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