Interdisciplinary issues of occupational health as seen from the viewpoint of management were discussed. The principle health care issues facing management, business, industry, and government are catastrophic costs, financing employee benefit packages, health and safety, disability, social legislation, privacy, and ethical matters. It is noted that enlightened management in the United States has accepted its responsibility to provide a safe and healthy work environment. Employers must develop integrated occupational health programs that combine concerns for controlling and preventing disease and injury and developing aggressive health maintenance programs. The author suggests that the success of these programs over the next 5 to 10 years could be critical for the survival of business organizations or government groups that underwrite the benefit packages. It is noted that management generally does not understand how occupational health care delivery systems function, but it realizes that the demand for health care must be reduced. To meet the goal of reduced demand for health care services, collaboration of health care professionals, labor leaders, business and industry management, government leaders, and educators is necessary. Suggestions for improving collaboration between occupational health nurses and management were provided. These include nurses serving as role models in preventive health, being knowledgeable about toxicology, developing an ability to use computerized systems, understanding the economic system, and developing interpersonal skills.
Proceedings of the National Occupational Health Nursing Symposium: State of the Art and Directions for the Future, Cincinnati, Ohio, June 1-3, 1983