Urgent Care vs. Occupational Health – What’s the Difference?

Imagine this – an employee is on the clock and injured, but it’s after typical medical office hours. Do you send them to Urgent Care? The Emergency Room? Do you wait?

As an employer, you want to be prepared for any accident or issue that may arise on the job. Making a split-second decision when an injury occurs may not always be the best for you or your employee. Why should employers consider occupational health doctors over urgent care or emergency room treatment? 

What is occupational health?

Occupational medicine is the subspeciality of preventative medicine concerned with the health, safety, and performance of a workforce. Occupational health physicians provide medical care and treatment plans for work-related injuries and illnesses. They also work with insurers, businesses, employers, and other professionals to ensure a safer working environment.

Why should you choose an occupational health provider?

Urgent Care facilities or Emergency Rooms are equipped to handle injuries and illnesses that require attention within 24 hours. These physicians are skilled in treating emergency conditions, but are typically treated in order of life-threatening conditions. In these situations, there is not a plan in place for follow up care, workers’ compensation forms, or a return to work plan.

Employee healthcare is a niche specialty. The benefits of occupational health include:

  • Minimizing lost time through modified duty protocols
  • Fit for duty and return to work protocols to ensure your workers can safely perform job requirements
  • OSHA Expertise in record keeping, compliance, and a deep understanding of first aid requirements.
  • Medical surveillance as mandated by OSHA to monitor chemical exposure

When workers’ lives are improved, their performance improves productivity. Partnering with OHC as your occupational health provider will:

  • Maintain a healthy workforce
  • Provide medical surveillance
  • Manage injuries
  • Decrease lost time
  • Ensure fit for duty
  • MD OSHA recordability evaluations
  • And more!

At OHC, we believe the best way to handle accidents is to prevent them. To do that, a company must have a proper safety program in place. We’ve helped dozens of clients implement a successful safety culture and create not only a safer work environment but also a more productive one. Give us a call at (251) 434-6770 and we start building your safety culture today.


Occupational Health Center offers employers a large array of health services designed to maximize the effectiveness of your valued employees. With a strong focus on workers’ compensation claims, our services promote the continued well-being of your employees’ health and their return to work.

For more than 10 years, the business, industrial, and corporate communities have placed their trust in our doctors to provide medical care, services, and testing for thousands of their employees. 

We’re glad you asked, how can we help?

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