1. What’s your turnaround speed?
A service is no good if it’s too slow. Situations can change and small issues will develop into bigger issues without prompt intervention. So ask any prospective providers about their timescales, and get them to put this in writing. Better still, ask for a guarantee.
It should be possible for providers to always guarantee their timescales, with appointments available as soon as same day for many of their services. Providers should act promptly and efficiently, because that’s what you deserve!
2. Tell me about your clinical staff’s qualification and experience
You need to be able to trust the advice of the clinicians who are supporting you. This means that they need to have the specialist qualifications you need, and plenty of experience delivering the service. An occupational health nurse should have specialist qualifications such as the ‘specialist community public health nurse (OH)’ qualification or equivalent, and doctor’s should have the consultant level ‘member of the faculty of occupational medicine’ status. Don’t be shy to ask what sort of clinicians would be doing your work, it’s really important!
3. Will you outsource my work?
Many occupational health providers will use a ‘network’ of staff. This means that many companies will be using the same pool of clinicians, and therefore their services are all much of a muchness, and they will all experience the same issues. Outsourcing means a lack of training, quality control and consistency.
Smart Clinic believes in developing our own internal staff to the level that our clients need. So no, we won’t outsource your work, we’ll do it ourselves, because it’s better for you.
4. Do you have a good portal?
Ask for a demo, or better still, a trial on your prospective providers systems. You’ll be using it regularly so it’s important that you find the service easy to use, and it has all the extra features you need such as usage reporting, status updates, case timelines and storage areas. You can sign up for a pay-as-you-go account with us anytime you like to experience the Smart Clinic portal for yourselves.
5. How is your customer service?
Do they have an online, independent review service like Trust Pilot. We do, and here’s our feedback…warts and all.
You need to have a friendly, responsive team that will help you through any potentially challenging times you may face.
6. What’s the price?
Price will always be important, but don’t let it be the only driving factor. A service that is only half as good, will require you to use them twice, and will take up twice as much of your time.
For some services, the price may seem too good to be true, but for others it may just be a fair price that isn’t excessive for what’s on offer.
You may also want to ask the provider about any packages they offer which include all services for a fixed annual fee, such as our annual packages.
7. What’s included?
Or more importantly, what isn’t included? It isn’t unusual for providers to charge for as many ‘extras’ as possible to generate more revenue. It isn’t ethical and it isn’t fair, so ask them to be totally upfront with you about what you get for what you’re paying.
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