November 16, 2010 > Keeping Employees and Businesses Healthy
Keeping Employees and Businesses Healthy
Learn More About Washington Hospital's Well For Work Program
Productive employees are the lifeblood of any successful business. When employees are injured or ill and have to take time off work, it can have a dramatic negative impact on any business, which can have a ripple effect throughout the local economy.
That's why, as part of its commitment to the well being of our community, Washington Hospital launched its "Well for Work" occupational medicine program nearly a dozen years ago.
"Well for Work provides a wide range of services to meet employers' and employees' needs for both preventive care and treatment of work-related injuries or illness," says Mike Rogers, Washington Hospital's Manager of Offsite Services. "With four urgent care clinics located throughout the Tri-City area - along with the facilities of Washington Hospital, the Washington Outpatient Rehabilitation Center and the Washington Outpatient Surgery Center - we offer convenient access to expert care, including extended hours and weekend care at some locations."
"We have a skilled team of primary care physicians at each clinic, as well as a network of board-certified orthopedists, neurologists, physiatrists and other specialists," says Rogers, who manages the Well for Work Program. "Because Well for Work is part of Washington Hospital Healthcare System, businesses and their employees have access to our broad range of advanced treatment and rehabilitation services when needed."
Some of the services offered through Well for Work include:
* Pre-employment physicals to evaluate a potential employee's ability to perform a particular job.
* Annual employee examinations.
* Immunizations and vaccinations.
* Post-injury return-to-work examinations.
* Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) and Department of Transportation (DOT) examinations.
* Drug and alcohol testing.
* OSHA-mandated hearing testing and screenings for employees who must wear respirators.
* Screenings for cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
* On-site ergonomic workstation evaluations to ensure employee safety.
* Rehabilitation and physical therapy services provided at the Outpatient Rehabilitation Center.
"We work as partners with our clients to build a healthy business," Rogers explains. "Ideally, it's good to develop a relationship with employers before an injury happens. We like to have our physicians visit business sites to learn about the work the employees are doing, so the doctors are aware of potential work hazards and what would be needed for an injured employee to return to work."
According to Rogers, the Well for Work Program is committed to developing relationships with specialized employers and help improve worker health and safety.
"Each business is different, and the better we understand a company's operations, the better we are able to take care of them and their employees," he says.
Rogers says that close communication between business clients and the Well for Work physicians and staff is key to the program's effectiveness.
"We have a 'First Call' program set up so that the doctor calls the employer after the employee's first visit," he says. "We integrate information from all the health-care providers caring for each employee and provide ongoing status reports to keep employers informed of the employee's status."
To help employers manage their health-care costs, Well for Work encourages visits to the urgent care clinics, rather than the much more expensive hospital emergency room.
"We generally can handle urgent care cases outside of the ER," Rogers says. "We also try to treat all appropriate cases as 'first aid' whenever possible to keep the company from having a large number of unnecessary OSHA recordable injuries. We also work with employers to design modified work programs so that employees can return to work much more quickly."
Well for Work also enlists the services of the Washington on Wheels (W.O.W.) mobile health clinic.
"We send the van to company locations to provide annual exams, vaccinations and other services directly to the business," Rogers explains. "That way, employees don't have to be away from work to come to the clinic individually. Using W.O.W. saves both time and money for our business clients."
Learn More About Well for Work
For more information about the Well for Work program, visit www.whhs.com/occupationmedicine/ or call (510) 608-1320.