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Having a good medical provider who is able to handle all of your company’s medical needs is an important part of any safety program. A good medical provider will be able to do more than just treat workplace accidents and illnesses.
A good medical provider will also be able to conduct pre-employment physicals, annual audiograms or audiogram re-tests when needed (see audiogram template), respiratory assessments, and fit testing and provide most other basic work-related medical needs.
Most companies start looking for a new medical provider or healthcare utilization management provider when they become unhappy with how their current provider is performing. Maybe their current provider has grown too quickly and doesn’t have the staffing needed to maintain their increased clientele or maybe they’ve changed hands and are not providing all the services they once did or maybe their medical team has become less conservative with their treatment plans. All of these things can contribute to the decision to look elsewhere for a new provider.
This may seem like a logical move—and it is, except what happens is that every provider who isn’t your current provider looks like a great choice when in fact they might not be. Companies are so eager to find a new and better medical provider that they develop tunnel vision and then end up with a new provider that isn’t any better than their previous one.
So, how do you go about finding a new medical provider and avoid the tunnel vision that happens during this process? You treat this process like you’re interviewing for an open position. After all, it is technically an open position and you are looking to fill that position, right?
The first step is writing a “job description” that includes all the things a new medical provider must have in order to meet your company’s medical needs. When you find appropriate candidates for this position, you interview them like you would any other candidate.
If you’re not quite sure how to interview a medical provider, we can help. We’ve created a customizable Occupational Health Provider Interview Form that will help you know what to ask and that offers some guidance on how to interpret answers during the interview process so that you find the best medical provider for your needs.