Technology has changed the game for health care services and solutions.
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, virtual health care, popularly known as telehealth, is the talk of the town. Although telehealth services were in use even before COVID-19 arrived on the scene, there has been a steep rise in the use of the same post-pandemic.
According to the data by GlobalMed, in five years before 2019, telemedicine, which is a subset of telehealth, saw growth by 44 percent. Additionally, according to McKinsey & Co., the increase in the use of telehealth services in the wake of the pandemic has led to a rise in the investment in virtual health care.
In April this year, McKinsey’s survey revealed that 46% of U.S. consumers opted for telehealth instead of personal visits to hospitals and health clinics. McKinsey’s study also showed that telehealth’s consumer adoption has increased from 11 percent in 2019 to 49 percent in 2020.
All this talk about how great ‘telehealth’ is. But first, let us learn what the term entails.
What is telehealth?
According to mayoclinic.org, “Telehealth is the use of digital information and communication technologies, such as computers and mobile devices, to access health care services remotely and manage your health care.”
In other words, telehealth allows individuals remote diagnosis, detection of changes in their medical conditions, and vital health signs, as well as remote consultations and treatment from health care providers.
Almost all Medicare, Medicaid services, and programs in the US offer some coverage for telehealth services.
Examples of telehealth include:
- Online patient portal
- Virtual appointments
- Remote patient monitoring
- Virtual consultations among primary caregivers and specialists
- Electronic Personal Health Record System, or a PHR system
- Personal Health Applications
In the corporate sector, employers have been eyeing the benefits of having telehealth services as a part of their wellness program for quite some time. It is the next big thing that can have a tremendous impact on employee health and productivity, and reduce healthcare costs.
Download our complete and comprehensive guide to corporate wellness programs to create an effective one for your workforce.
4 Reasons Why Telehealth Should Be a Part of Your Wellness Program
A few years ago, Springbuk CEO Rod Reasen said, “We’re seeing more employers turn to wearables not only to provide participation and engagement data but increasingly to help move the needle on the effectiveness of wellness programs in lowering health risk and improving health outcomes.”
More and more corporate wellness programs in America embrace and integrate telehealth into their scope of health services provided. Employers realize that telehealth is a beneficial, convenient, and cost-effective way to ensure employee health and productivity.
Here are the top benefits of making telehealth a part of your corporate wellness program.
1. Enhances Preventive Healthcare Strategies
With telehealth as a part of your wellness program, employees can actively monitor their health conditions. Features like activity trackers and mhealth applications allow them to log in their daily activity and dietary routines. These features show them tangible cause and effect relationships between their actions and consequences.
So, with access to information about their health vitals, dietary requirements, physical activity levels, etc., employees can always take a proactive role in preventing ill-health. For instance, as they notice that they are failing to meet their nutrition requirements, they can consume better and healthier.
2. Immediate Access to Health Care
With telehealth and telemedicine services in place, your employees will no longer waste time waiting for a health care provider to attend to them.
On-demand patient care and virtual visits ensure that your employees can reach out to doctors in the least time possible.
This is incredibly helpful for remote workers, especially in a post-COVID world, where social distancing has become the new normal.
3. Long Term Well-Being of Employees
Investing in telehealth can ensure the long-term well-being of employees. Telehealth services allow the consumers, aka, your employees, to have all the control over their health-related decisions. Being aware and in management leads to a genuine attempt from employees at staying active and healthy.
Many corporate employers have noticed that telehealth and telemedicine’s integration into their company wellness programs has led to enhanced employee health, productivity, and engagement at work.
4. Decrease in Health Care Costs
The staggering health care and insurance costs are a severe concern for all employers and organizations, especially if the company has senior employees and employees with chronic conditions. A functional and practical corporate wellness program can lead to a rapid decrease in health care costs.
Using telehealth has significantly lowered the health care costs for corporate companies. For instance, according to MDPI, telemedicine reduces the costs of doctor visits by 10 to 15 percent.
In the long run, organizations will save a lot of money, which would otherwise be spent on health care.
Some Impressive Statistics:
According to the American Hospital Association, 76% of hospitals in the United States connect with patients and practitioners with video and other technology.
According to the findings in the Journal of American Informatics Association, between March 2 and April 14, NYU Langone Health witnessed urgent virtual care visits increase by 683 percent, and nonurgent virtual care visits increased by 4,345 percent.
According to a study by American Well, telehealth visits from patients resolved their health concerns 84 percent of the time.
GlobalMed data reveals that 74 percent of millennials favor telehealth visits, rather than in-person doctor exams.
McKinsey’s data reveals that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a $250 billion in virtual medicine.
Telehealth has been on the scene for quite a few years, even before the pandemic hit the face of the earth.
It is no longer smart to ignore the potential and convenience that telehealth as a technology brings to the forefront for employee health.
In a post-pandemic world, telehealth will strengthen its base among the corporate sector.
Thus, you should talk to your employees about their health concerns and accordingly integrate telehealth services addressing those concerns with your corporate wellness program.