Occupational medicine treats patients who are dealing with work-related injuries or illnesses. Doctors who specialize in occupational medicine are better equipped to treat and diagnose work-related injuries as opposed to the majority of primary care physicians. These physicians understand the federal as well as the state regulations that govern work safety and work health. They are up-to-date with the guidelines laid out by OSHA as well as the Department of Transportation and the FAA. This in-depth understanding of injuries that are commonplace in the work environment, as well as the governmental regulations that dictate how certain types of work can be done, make these doctors highly qualified and able to perform regulatory examinations. It is not uncommon for this type of doctors to work closely with employers. Their goal is to help keep a business running, keep employees safe, and see to it that employees can perform their job while maintaining their health.
The Benefits of Occupational Medicine
There are a number of benefits that both patients and employers receive when they work with a doctor specializing in occupational medicine. These doctors can serve as a conduit to provide accurate information to both patients and employers. They work to help patients understand how to carry out their work in a safe way. They also provide employers with information that allows them to review the work environments they have created to make sure that they are up to the standards laid out by the government.
These physicians focus on providing a good patient experience. They realize that the experience a patient has when working with their doctor plays a large role in how quickly they recover and how quickly they are able to return back to work.
Communication is key in a patient’s recovery. When a patient feels that they are able to freely communicate with their doctor, they provide their doctor with essential information that can aid in the recovery process. Additionally, when doctors are able to communicate with employers, get feedback from employers, and have a firm grasp on the environment their patients are working in, they are able to provide the best care.
Once a patient has been treated, they may require follow-up physical therapy and follow-up care to help them fully recover. Occupational medicine physicians work with employees and employers to ensure quality medical outcomes.
Employee Health and Productivity
Healthy employees are happy. Healthy employees are productive. For this reason, preventative health programs like those provided by occupational health physicians are key. Some of the preventative steps that occupational health physicians can encourage within a work environment include weight loss coaching, health risk assessments, fitness programs, and workshops.
Injuries caused at work can be expensive. It can be easy to determine the cost of direct expenses including medical care and insurance. What is harder to calculate is how having one person injured disrupts productivity, disrupts the workplace environment, and affects morale. It is better to be prepared in advance. Employers benefit by learning as much about occupational medicine as possible.