Safety has been a priority for Digital Monitoring Products (DMP). The family-owned manufacturing company has produced electronic alarms, such as burglar and fire alarms, since it opened in 1975. Likewise, employee wellness is something DMP takes seriously. In July, DMP opened a full-service family clinic operated by Dr. Jim Blaine and available to all DMP employees, their spouses and children younger than 18. “Our family really takes a personal view of the health and well-being of all of the employees at DMP, and this is really an extension of that,” says owner and CEO Rick Britton.
The clinic operates three mornings per week and offers employees annual preventative check-ups at no cost. The clinic can also be utilized for acute illness care, chronic disease management and minor in-office surgery with a $5 copay per visit—collected through a payroll deduction. DMP employees and family can enroll in the service as soon as they become eligible for DMP Health Insurance, but they can use the clinic regardless of their insurance coverage.
Britton says preventative health in employees has been a great benefit of the clinic. Even though the clinic has only been around a short time, employees are giving DMP good feedback. “We have a solid group of people, and we believe we have a company culture that is caring and focused on customer and employee needs, but this just takes it to another level,” Britton says.
For all its positives, Britton says there are also parts that can be taxing on a business, including expense. “You just can’t take an office and say, ‘It’s now a doctor’s office!’” Britton says. “There is planning and code requirements and design that has to be done to make sure it’s correct and appropriate. We had to understand how it would affect our health insurance and make sure that we communicated what services the clinic is and isn’t able to provide.” Another challenge for DMP was employee privacy. Employees need the confidence that no one at DMP has access to their medical records, Britton says. Only Blaine and his staff have access to that information.
Opening your own company’s clinic should start with finding a doctor who is open to working in a nontraditional clinic. Britton also says it’s important to realize you are not going to see a return on your investment immediately. “Your health care expense may increase the first couple years, as employees have the opportunity to see a doctor more often,” Britton says. “Hopefully that will yield lower medical costs going forward, but sometimes it takes a couple years to get everyone back into their best health and in a preventive mode.”
In the future, federal health care regulations or policies could create disadvantages for a clinic like DMP’s, Britton says. But for now, the clinic has been a boon for hiring. “We have seen some advantages in recruiting new employees to DMP, but the biggest benefit would be seeing healthier employees and knowing that the people you employ have great quality health care that they can afford,” Britton says.