Choosing an occupational health partner

Choosing an occupational health partner is an important decision for your company. It really matters who you choose to help manage your personnel’s work ability.

As an employer, you choose where you arrange occupational health services

You can choose between four different options. 

You can acquire the services

  • From a municipal occupational health unit  
  • From a private occupational health service provider 
  • By establishing your company’s own occupational health unit 
  • By establishing an occupational health unit together with other employers or by acquiring the services from an existing unit jointly established by employers.  

Työterveydeksi.fi (in Finnish) is a service that allows you to look for service providers in your area. If there are several occupational health service providers in your area, you can put them out to tender before choosing your collaboration partner.

Challenge your current occupational health partner to deepen collaboration  

If you already have an occupational health partner but you think that you could make more out of the collaboration, switching service providers is not always the best way to go. You can also reach good collaboration with your current occupational health partner. Bring the matter up, ask, suggest and challenge. Most occupational health service providers are happy to develop collaboration.

Continuity in occupational health collaboration and customer relationships deepens mutual understanding, and trust is built over the years. That is why frequently switching service providers does not always bring the desired result. How active you are decides how your collaboration evolves. When you put an effort into developing the occupational health collaboration and manage it, you will also get more out of it. Only if your collaboration does not improve despite your attempts, you should consider changing your occupational health partner.

Decide on the following before requesting an offer 

  1. What do you want from occupational health services?
    • Is it just meant to meet the minimum requirements laid down in the Occupational Health Care Act?
    • Do you want to offer your employees as extensive medical care services as possible as an employee benefit?
    • Is what you want somewhere in between these two, or something else altogether?
  2. What are you prepared to contribute?
    • How much time and effort do you wish to put into occupational health collaboration planning, monitoring and feedback?
    • What resources do you and your company have for supporting work ability and managing absences due to illness?
  3. How much time and effort do you wish to put into occupational health collaboration planning, monitoring and feedback?

  4. Do you wish to be invoiced monthly based on use or have a fixed-price agreement?

  5. From which service providers do you wish to request an offer?
    • If your company has several locations, do you want one provider to coordinate the occupational health services of your entire company or do you want to have separate agreements for each location?
    • What alternative occupational health service providers are there?

Compare the offers

Enter the offers into a worksheet to make it easier for you to compare the answers and gain a picture of the different providers’ strengths and weaknesses. It is up to you to decide what your priorities are.

You should meet with the service providers to get more details concerning the offers and answers to open questions. If you are unsure of something or if some concepts are unfamiliar to you, ask for clarification. You can also ask the service provider to give a more detailed presentation of their services, their special expertise areas and solutions for your questions.

In your discussions, make sure together that the agreed procedures comply with the Occupational Health Care Act and are ethically sustainable.

Occupational health collaboration steps

  1. Choose an occupational health partner.  
  2. Conclude an occupational health service agreement.  
  3. Carry out a workplace survey.  
  4. Draw up an action plan.  
  5. Start up the occupational health collaboration.  
  6. Together, assess how you have succeeded and adjust the plan.