OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH ASSESSMENTS
Occupational Health is a specialist form of medicine that looks at the interaction between job role and health; this may be how the individual’s health affects their role or how the role affects their health. One of the primary functions of Occupational Health Assessments is to provide employers with an independent view on the employee’s health status and their ability to perform their role, so the employer can make an informed decision regarding that employee.
Occupational Health does not provide treatment or diagnoses of individuals as this function remains with the Primary Health Team and the individual’s GP. Occupational Health provides advice to managers on how to most effectively and safely rehabilitate employees back to their full working potential; however the management of this process remains with the managers.
MCL Medics’ team of occupational health professionals provide Occupational Health Assessments and associated management reports for employees UK wide. We can help organisations with a range of work related health issues including management of long term and frequent short term sickness absence.
A face to face consultation is our preferred method for conducting an Occupational Health Assessment. However a structured video consultation can be a very valid and useful alternative. A video consultation is essentially the same as for face to face examinations except the physical review is replaced with a telephone interview.
Occupational Health Assessments would normally be conducted by an Occupational Health Nurse and these assessments rely upon good questioning and gathering a robust medical history to form a judgement.
Occupational Health Assessments
Occupational Health Assessments via video calls have advantages over face to face meetings. Research suggests that video/telephone consultations on health matters can provide a safe and efficient service while increasing patient satisfaction and case load management. They can reduce disruption and costs to employers alike. They can potentially enhance access to the Occupational Health service for clients who are absent from work, returning to work, on rehabilitation programmes or have identified health concerns. They can be used to provide advice or receive information or updates from clients, reduce appointment waiting times, travel time and costs to clients and improve continuity and convenience of service. They can help reduce missed appointments, improve client satisfaction and offer a more timely service to employers with a reduced impact on productivity.
Video consultations exchange the costs and inconvenience of face to face consultations for the more cost effective, quicker use of video calls to consult over distances yet they are still subject to the same fundamental issues such as standards of care, patient confidentiality, data security, rights of access and duty of care. As healthcare professionals are accountable for any care they deliver, including via a telephone or video calls, we ensure high standards are in place that would meet the legal requirement of being “reasonable”. Standards will help protect against complaints and litigation.
The more diverse the role, the greater the need for medico legal protection. This is provided with agreed protocols, defined fields of practice and continuing professional development.