The 1,600-square-foot suite could be a physician's office found anywhere. It is staffed by a full-time doctor, a physician's assistant, a nurse practitioner, a medical assistant and an administrative assistant.
There is an exam room for treating medical emergencies, another for administering immunizations and another for testing hearing. The staff can do a urinalysis, get a blood count, check liver function, blood pressure and cholesterol and even do an EKG.
What's different from most doctors' offices is this clinic's location -- in the heart of Bayer Inc.'s campus in Robinson, overlooking the Parkway West.
The clinic has offered care for Bayer employees at the Robinson campus for 40 years, perhaps not so surprising considering they work at a chemical and pharmaceutical company (the campus also features a small employee-only store stocked exclusively with Bayer aspirin and other products).
But there are signs that other large companies, too, are embracing onsite medical clinics.
A 2012 survey by the consulting firm Mercer found that 24 percent of firms with 5,000 or more employees offer onsite clinics, and another 15 percent are considering it -- a 5 percent increase in three years. For worksites closer to the 1,300 employee-level at Bayer's Robinson campus, about 15 percent offer primary care services and another 11 percent are considering it, according to Mercer.
Despite the cost of set-up and staffing, people running such clinics say onsite care cuts down on lost time, increases productivity and ultimately saves both the employee and the company money because workers are healthier and happier.
"What I really like is that I'm able to practice medicine the way it's supposed to be practiced," said Phillip Franklin, Bayer's corporate medical director. "It gives doctors and nurses the time to give the care. You feel like it's a family member that you're caring for and they really appreciate that."
They do, indeed.
Ken Cygnarowicz, a 27-year Bayer employee, needs only to step across the hall from his office in design and print services to meet with the clinic staff, some of whom he's known since he started at the company.
"I trust them as I would trust my own primary care physician. Actually, I trust them a little bit more," said the Ingram resident.
He hasn't had to use the clinic for any serious emergency, but he has stopped by to have his lungs checked when he had a persistent cold and recently sought help when he developed an eye infection.
"In the event there would be some type of emergency, it's nice to know there are trained professionals on site that can handle most any situation," he said.
The Bayer facility is set up to handle a wide range of medical needs, although "for the most part we don't try to treat chronic disease [such as diabetes or high blood pressure]," Dr. Franklin said.
Just in the past few weeks, they treated a worker with an uncontrolled nose bleed and gave a medical consult to staff members about to travel to China about the deadly H7N9 bird flu virus.
Most of the care falls into the category of routine, but having it onsite means minimal interruption to the workday. If someone comes to work with a sore throat, said Dr. Franklin, the staff can do a quick strep test and get that individual started on medication.
"By the time he gets home, he's already had two doses and hopefully he's feeling better."
Because many of the services are free, the employee also has saved a $100 office visit and a lost work day. Dr. Franklin said a company will benefit as well, by some estimates saving $2 for every $1 spent.
"Our costs are probably 60 percent what they would be on the outside," he said.
Bayer officials declined to reveal how much it costs the company to operate the clinic.
Larger companies tend to be more likely to set up clinics, but Dr. Franklin says that doesn't mean small firms can't offer basic medical services, perhaps bringing in a nurse one day each week.
"If you have a conference room, you can have a clinic. You don't really need a large operation to make it work," he said.
And, he added, it may make even more sense in an economy in which companies have been forced to lay off staff and leave vacancies unfilled. "If you have a lean structure, you can't afford to have people off work," Dr. Franklin said.
Steve Twedt: email@example.com or 412-263-1963.