(NPN) - Imagine you're at work and you start feeling sick, but instead of heading to the doctor's, you just head down the hall to the medical facility in your own workplace.
A growing number of companies are providing on-site health care for employees. Could it be just what the doctor ordered?
A day after hurting her shoulder, Juanita Luna knew she needed a doctor, but instead of leaving work early to get it checked out, she checked in with her company's health care center right down the hall. She had an appointment five minutes later.
"I would have had to take off work, call my doctor probably would have resulted in about a half day out of the office," Luna said.
Larry Boress is with the National Association of Worksite Health Centers. He says a recent survey finds a third of companies now offer some form of health services on-site. Boress says it's great for companies and employees.
"Having an onsite clinic really gives them a great opportunity to quickly get to the service they need or pick up the drug or see the doctor or nurse and then get back to work," Boress said. "It also helps for the employer because then people are not away from the work site."
Services can range from a single room where employees can check their vitals or Skype in to an on-call doctor - to elaborate facilities like where Luna works, which can offer services ranging from acute care, to acupuncture and even physical therapy.
"We listen to our employees and these are the services that they ask for," Angela Lombardi said. "We don't want them spending time traveling or waiting for health care. We want them to get the right health care at the right time."
And, says Boress, it can be less expensive, too. "People have less out-of-pocket costs because the clinic itself doesn't have to generate revenue. It's there solely to help people get healthy. To improve the access for services and keep people productive," he said.
As for Luna, she was prescribed four weeks of physical therapy for her shoulder and she says she never missed a beat at work.
"The stress of having to take off work and schedule around meetings? That's just gone. It's enormously convenient," she said.
In addition to helping employees get healthy, says Boreless, these centers can also help them stay healthy with nutrition programs, smoking cessation programs and more, which can be a win-win for both the employee and the employee.