76% of people who have received a telehealth visit would prefer that method of healthcare in the future. The ability to get medical advice and care virtually is proving to be beneficial for patients worldwide.
Telehealth services will likely expand and, hopefully, become more widely used in the future. With this in mind, employers should consider the telehealth options they can offer their employees to keep them healthy and happy in the workplace.
Before we offer tips on effectively integrating and supporting employees with telehealth benefits, let’s explore advancing technology’s impact on healthcare.
Guest post by: Katie Brenneman. Feature image by Gustavo Fring.
Advancing Technology in Healthcare
Technology is becoming more entrenched in how medical professionals treat their patients. For instance, medical professionals are using robotics in precision laser surgeries.
Exoskeletons help individuals living with specific disabilities regain mobility. Technology is also enhancing vital health procedures like cataract surgery. It’s helped create advanced intraocular lenses that can eliminate the effects of cataracts and drastically improve vision after surgery.
Further, artificial intelligence in drug development simplifies the discovery and implementation of such drugs, contributing to faster recovery from particular illnesses and injuries. We even see technology’s impact on self-care with different apps and devices that facilitate a more impactful personal routine.
High tech is also helping patient care by allowing patients to take charge of their health journeys and deepen their relationships with their doctors. For example, wearable biosensors assist patients in self-monitoring specific conditions and their overall health from home.
They get real-time data on their health and suggestions for improving it, and doctors also have access to the patient’s data on these devices. This access allows doctors to develop better treatment plans for their patients. It can also notify them when a patient’s health is in a dangerous space and emergency help is needed.
Moreover, smart health devices can help reassure patients that their health is good, so they don’t have to run to their doctor for unnecessary visits.
Another critical technological advancement in healthcare is telehealth services. Safety, convenience, and cost-effectiveness are three primary reasons telehealth is growing in popularity. Patients can avoid white-coat syndrome too, which is when patients experience high blood pressure readings exacerbated by the nervousness in-office visits bring.
Ultimately, technology is enhancing healthcare on many levels.
Tips for Employers To Integrate Telehealth Benefits
You should absolutely offer your employees telehealth benefits if it’s feasible. Your employees will have access to critical health services at an affordable price, which prompts better health and inspires more productivity in the workplace.
Here are three tips for integrating telehealth benefits into your support system for your employees effectively.
Research available telehealth options
First, it’s integral to thoroughly research telehealth options available in general. More importantly, research those available through the health plan you’re currently offering your employees.
Without adequate research, you won’t be able to tell your employees what’s available to them and promote those services adequately. On the other hand, thorough research on your options ensures you’re giving an accurate account of what is available to your employees. It will also make it easier to show your employees how those services benefit their health.
Reach out to a representative from your employee healthcare plan and find out what telehealth
services are offered and their coverage. If you aren’t offering a healthcare plan, research free or low-cost telehealth services available and provide that information to your employees.
Offer virtual wellness programs in tandem with telehealth benefits
It’s important to note that telehealth services can’t help patients with everything. These virtual meetings are helpful in situations like reviewing test results, sharing symptoms and getting a diagnosis, renewing a prescription, or mental health counselling.
Offering virtual wellness programs with telehealth benefits is brilliant because they can help your employees with additional health-related concerns and keep them consistent in their quest for better health.
Your wellness programs can include the following:
- Fitness testing;
- Weekly walk-and-talk meetings;
- Access to healthy snacks and lunch options;
- Access to weight-loss and nutrition counselling;
- An annual wellness week or fitness challenge;
- Onsite yoga, meditation, and mindfulness classes;
- Flu shots and other general vaccination programs.
Open the lines of communication about telehealth options
It’s one thing to tell your employees what’s available a few times a year and leave it at that. It’s a whole other thing to open the lines of communication about telehealth options and teach your employees how to use them.
Your communication about your telehealth options should be consistent and intentional. You should have internal communications about your telehealth benefits rolling out regularly via email, flyers, meetings, your intranet, and so forth.
Also, welcome feedback from your employees about telehealth and the options you currently have to improve them and better accommodate your team’s unique needs.
Furthermore, you can encourage your employees’ use of telehealth by teaching them how to use these services properly. For example, offer a few webinars a year showing employees how to use telehealth options on various devices. Give them guidance on how to access these services, when to use them, and what to do should they have trouble utilizing them.
Technology is making its impact known in the healthcare industry. Telehealth, in particular, offers patients access to affordable, quality healthcare services virtually. They can get the care they need from the comfort of their own homes.
Employers can get on board with telehealth and offer these benefits to their employees by implementing the tips above.