New processes and changes can sometimes be difficult to implement. However; once implemented, the resulting increased efficiency from this evolution is worth the pain. More so now than at any other time, businesses are adapting to continue providing an effective service to their customers. Many aspects of our occupational health service are a mandatory requirement and therefore it was essential that  we  also adapted our own business and introduced new (and quite exciting) processes to allow us to continue to support our customers with regards to annual health surveillance and employee wellbeing support. These processes lay the pathway for further improving the efficiency of services that we provide.

What exactly have we introduced and how can it help our customers?

‘Our own purpose-built occupational health portal – Orchid’

Our newest, and arguably our most popular addition is our personalised occupational health portal that has been tailored to meet the specific requirements of Acorn’s customers.

What can it do?

  • Enables our nurses to carry out health screening remotely, including everything from pre-placements, health surveillance and fit for task medicals to sickness absence and management referrals. No matter what the future holds, we will always be able to support you and your employees.
  • It electronically sends health questionnaires to employees to be completed for online screening remotely or prior to our visit, meaning that the nurse’s day can run without a hitch
  • Saving the planet – Orchid is a paperless system, so no need to print anything.
  • Submit and track the progress of Management Referrals on your own company dashboard.
  • All reports are stored online in a centralised, secure customer dashboard.
  • Orchid gives us the ability to summarise data quickly, including review dates.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams or ‘Teams’, is something that we have been utilising for some time now. However, it really came into its full glory during the peak of lockdown restrictions.

Teams is a secure communication and collaboration platform that allows you to engage internally or externally via video, phone or online chat. You can also share your screen, send files, edit spreadsheets and make appointments in the diary. Teams has been a key player in keeping Acorn connected with our customers, and our own team whilst working from home during the pandemic. Being well connected is something that we value highly for our team and our customers.

How can Teams benefit our customers?

  • Fancy a chat? Teams allows us to hold meetings from anywhere. Over the past few months, we were able to keep in touch with our customers and hold our regular catch up meetings via video to develop plans moving forward.
  • Video consultations – also perfect for those remote Management Referral assessments where an employee will gain from seeing a friendly, professional face as they discuss any pressing issues, injuries, or return-to-work concerns. Video consultations have also proven a success for employees returning to work from shielding against Covid-19.
  • Teams is providing a central location between Acorn and our customers where we can share essential information such as the most recent health warnings, new services that we are providing, guidance from the HSE and general documentation.

Mobile unit

St Ives, Southampton, Carlisle, Ipswich, our mobile unit can travel the country. With the mobile unit having two soundproof hearing booths for audiometry testing, it is perfect for loud construction sites and sites without suitable medical rooms.

What else can our mobile unit offer?

  • It’s a Covid-19 controlled area – The unit allows us to carefully control the environment to significantly reduce the risk of cross contamination during Covid-19.
  • With two hearing booths on the unit we can carry out up to 56 hearing tests in a regular day.
  • For sites with a high requirement for audiometry testing, the unit is a more cost-effective option.

Our team

The core of Acorn Occupational Health is our team. Although our team is not a ‘process’, they are paramount in helping us to support our customers and implement the processes that we offer. Our nurses, technicians and physicians assess hundreds of people each week to help them monitor their health, identify and most importantly prevent work related illness. As well as this, they are helping businesses to function safely and continue to meet their legal obligation to health surveillance. During the pandemic, our clinical team are doing everything they can to continue to support our customers and help them to function safely. Acorn’s clinical team work tirelessly without hesitation, doing what they do best – caring.

Supporting our Nurses and Technicians on the front line is our highly experienced, knowledgeable and supportive office team. As our customers first point of contact, the office team are always on hand to provide the best advice and guidance to our customers. With ongoing training each week for both office based and clinical staff, we ensure that every part of Acorn’s team are rich with knowledge to support our customers with accurate guidance and procedures.

In an ever-changing world, it is important to reflect on what adaptations can be made to benefit your customers and your own team. Whether that be a process to help improve the wellbeing of your employees, a new software system like Teams to add to the quality of communication or new training to help improve overall customer experience. Being versatile has never been more important.

How has your business evolved recently, and how will it help your team internally and your clients?