Chronic Disease in the Workplace
A recent trip to The States gives insight
Health expenditure significantly increases as we get older, American companies are looking to save money on insurance costs in an ageing workforce, so they are approaching it a few different ways.
1. Demanding more from their Health care providers:
If a company orders some steel for production, they require certain specifications on quality, size, delivery and guarantees on these. Why not approach health the same way….
Whether you have an onsite clinic, OH&S team, or you rely on the expertise of offsite health care providers, ensure you sit down with them and discuss ways to improve the outcomes of your employees. A good place to start is with the local GP.
Your first step is to make a lunch meeting with your local GP medical centre. It usually takes 2 months to get in and see them, so BOOK NOW. It is also best if you walk in to the surgery and explain who you are, make the meeting in front of them, they usually wont let you book from the phone.
Then ask 3 questions:
1. How may Doctors will be attending?
2. Do your GPs treat Workcover clients?
3. Do any of the GPs have any special dietary requirements?
You will need to provide lunch, roughly $10/doctor and you would be surprised the requests for a Doctors lunch, KFC, Hamburgers, Chips etc etc
When you have the meeting, be confidant and explain you are here to develop a local Provider network, to improve the outcomes of workplace incidents. Explain your history of injuries onsite, EG: Type, location, first aid treatments, typical medical treatments and take some copies of some suitable duties to show that all workers will return to work in a safe environment.
Some other questions:
Do you have a Chronic disease management nurse?
Who are the Physios and Exercise Physiologists you use for Return to Work?
Would any of the GPs like to come out for a site tour?
This is something S&H can organise for you as part of our local provider network program. We spend time on your business analysing job tasks and build a high quality team to support your organisation. One example of this has been working with Wyndham Asia Pacific, and dealing with various locations across the region. How do you deliver high quality health care to all these sometimes remote location, S&H stepped in to provide the solutions.
Many Tech companies in the States are leading this field in the offerings they have for employees. Health wearables, Sleep Pods, Personal Trainers, Yoga classes, Health coaches, etc etc
We are finding in Australia this field is in its infancy. Safe & Healthy are working hard to pursue a balance between the above offerings and affordable solutions, in particular with manufacturing, hotel, and brewing companies who dont have the luxury of large Wellness budgets. Using Behavioural economic theories like nudge, present bias and default pathways we are seeing excellent participation amongst a notoriously challenging demograph.
3. Integrated & Continuous Care
Chronic Disease does not go away, and often requires input from a number of health professionals such as Diabetes Educators, Exercise Physiologists and Dieticians to name a few.
Chronic Disease care also costs a lot, this will start affecting the insurance premiums Australian companies are having to deal with. So care needs to be Integrated (a number of health providers) and it needs to be continuous to prevent the affects of living with such disease as Diabetes, Heart Disease, Hearing Loss, High Blood Pressure and Osteoarthritis to name a few.
Many of these conditions are preventable, all of these conditions can be better managed with the right care, advice, education and pathways to rehabilitation. If you would like to talk with someone about having your own onsite clinic, or setting up a local provider network to support your organisation we believe health & safety is not a secret so learn from our partners.
Safe & Healthy