How to Prepare for Your Provider Visit
A thorough understanding of the workplace environment is an essential component to providing high-quality occupational health care. Occupational medicine is the only medical specialty in which formal training is provided to assure that the functional abilities of the worker match the essential functions of the job.
Your BarnesCare medical providers are familiar with a wide spectrum of workplace environments. However, when your BarnesCare provider schedules a tour of your company, you may wish to consider the following factors in order to optimize the provider’s understanding of your specific workplace and safety considerations.
1. Give the provider a safety briefing prior to the tour and a review of the necessary personal protective equipment to ensure that your company's safety standards are maintained. When scheduling the tour, inform the provider if they need hearing protection, safety glasses, hardhats, steel-toed shoes or other protection to ensure compliance.
2. Be prepared to give your provider a brief history of work-related injury and illness claims. This will help your provider identify possible trends.
3. Focus the tour and discussion on areas in the workplace that experience particular types of injuries or illnesses. This will help your provider develop prevention strategies.
4. Include on the tour any areas involved with recent incidents to reinforce your provider's understanding of the case and the details provided by your company contact and the involved employee.
5. Schedule the tour during normal operations. This allows your provider to understand the real working conditions.
6. Encourage discussions with employees throughout the tour so the provider can get a sense of how things work from the “front-line” perspective.
7. Include time for debriefing after the tour to review any additional ideas for safety and prevention, set priorities for action items and establish timelines for follow-up meetings.
Partnering with client companies through ongoing discussion and a thorough understanding of the workplace environment helps your BarnesCare medical provider better communicate with you and your employees when a work-related injury or illness arises.
This story was written by Scott C. Jones, DO, MPH, FAOCOPM, BarnesCare Medical Director.