Taking the Occupational Medicine History

Max Lebow, MD, MPH, FACEP, FACPM Urgent message: A thorough, occupational medicine-specific history is essential to identifying and resolving work-related injuries and illnesses quickly and safely—for the benefit of the patient and the employer. Like any medical history, the occupational medicine history is meant to guide the clinician to the proper diagnosis and treatment for the patient. However, it is set apart from the “typical” history in that several other goals must be achieved in the process. Not only are the duties and responsibilities of the occupational primary treating physician …
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Misunderstanding Occupational Medicine Services ‘Protocols’

Misunderstanding Occupational Medicine Services ‘Protocols’  Alan A. Ayers, MBA, MAcc is Chief Executive Officer of Velocity Urgent Care and is Practice Management Editor of The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine.  Urgent message: Urgent care owners should be aware of the misuse of the term “protocol” and the scope of employers’ directions concerning the processing of employees in their centers. In addition, urgent care owners need to be diligent when they believe that one of their clients is attempting to override the course of medical treatment for an employee.  The discipline …
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Feds Expand Pool of Mandatory Drug Tests for Government Workers

Urgent care operators who offer occupational medicine services should be aware that new guidelines for federal workplaces include mandatory screening for four relatively common opioid pain medications. As of October 1, employee drug tests must include screens for oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone, and hydromorphone. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) says this will mainly affect some 400,000 federal employees with public health, public safety, and national security responsibilities. Positive results that are not attributed to a legitimate prescription are to be reported to the worker’s federal agency. More …
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The ‘Educate and Vaccinate’ Angle Could Boost Occ Med Business in Flu Season

Local business owners should be made aware that occupational medicine providers may be able to prevent more than the flu this season. With more than 11 million workdays—and $7 billion—lost annually to the flu according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, healthy employees mean a healthy bottom line in very real terms. Small businesses, especially those engaged in manufacturing where having a worker down with the flu could significantly diminish production for days (or weeks), could be especially willing partners in flu shot clinics and in-house programs built …
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Understanding the Landscape of Occupational Medicine

Urgent message: Expanding into occupational medicine requires a long-term commitment and willingness to respond to employer and employee needs. ALAN A. AYERS, MBA, MAcc Practice Velocity Urgent care providers have conventionally defined their offering as “treatment of acutely rising episodic medical conditions.” However, widespread acceptance of the urgent care business model-retail-facing locations, extended hours, and walk-in service—has led many urgent care centers to expand into longitudinal primary care as well as occupational medicine. Specifically, when people don’t know where to go for a work-related injury, they’ll go to the same …
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