Apple is in the process of establishing a network of clinics near its California headquarters to provide primary health care services to its employees, CNBC reports:
This new primary care group — a group of clinical staff that is run independently from Apple but is dedicated to Apple employees — will initially only serve Apple’s employees in Santa Clara County, where its headquarters are located. Initially, it has two clinics in the county. Development appears to be well underway.
The initiative, called AC Wellness, will “offer a unique concierge-like healthcare experience for employees and their dependents,” according to its website. In addition to health care professionals, AC Wellness is hiring designers and analysts to help build and implement a preventive and behavioral health program, according to CNBC.
Part of the rationale for this project is undoubtedly to better manage health care costs at Apple, which has thousands of employees in California and 123,000 worldwide. The clinics appear to have a secondary purpose, however, as proving grounds for Apple’s consumer-facing health products:
The Utah-based company CHG Healthcare Services, which provides medical care in rural areas of the western US, regularly ranks on Fortune magazine’s annual list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. Deseret News reporter Jason Lee highlights the innovative way the company helps its employees manage their mental health, which factors into its high levels of employee satisfaction:
For the past six years, the health care staffing company has offered its employees and family members access to a free on-site health clinic. Over time, the clinic’s providers learned that 3 out of 5 patients were visiting the clinic for issues related to mental health, so the company decided to add mental health counselors to its on-site facility, giving employees access to those services while in the office. …
[Vice president of talent management Nicole] Thurman said providing the mental health clinic is less about the money and more about taking a holistic approach to providing for the overall health and well-being of employees. … She noted the mental health programs are breaking even at an approximate monthly cost of about $8,500.
“We estimate the amount we are spending is what we are saving when people go to our onsite clinic instead of going somewhere else,” Thurman said. “The benefit to our people seems very positive and long-term impact will need to be assessed.”
The holistic approach to employee wellbeing CHG embraces is precisely the best practice our research at CEB, now Gartner, recommends. Our recent work on wellbeing finds that a holistic program covering employees’ physical, emotional, and financial wellbeing has a 33 percent greater impact on engagement than one that covers only physical wellbeing.
Flu season is upon us in the northern hemisphere, and given the significant business costs of a flu outbreak in the workplace, many employers are now holding seasonal on-site clinics where employees can get vaccinated against it. However, Roberta Holland points out at Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge blog, most employees who can get a free flu shot at or near their workplace don’t take the opportunity to do so. That brings her to Harvard professor and behavioral economist John Beshears, who recently studied what motivates employees to visit an on-site flu clinic (or rather what discourages them from doing so) and found that something as simple as the location of the clinic can make a big difference:
Beshears and colleagues tracked 1,801 employees of a health benefits administrator, Express Scripts, during the 2011-2012 flu season. Their goal was to determine whether there was any link between getting vaccinated and how far the clinic was from someone’s office, or how their daily routine brought him or her near the clinic location. …
Beshears and his colleagues used building blueprints to measure base proximity, or how far workers had to walk to get to the clinic from their offices or desks. They used badge swipes at a passageway near the clinic to determine functional proximity, or how often employees were passing by the clinic location on a typical day. Each employee was assigned an anonymous ID code, which allowed Beshears to match the data with whether that individual got a flu shot without identifying workers by name.