In the past, there was a simple protocol when you wanted to see a doctor: You called the office, found the first available opening that fit your schedule, and then set an appointment.
The advent of telemedicine has pushed that timeline up considerably. At the first sign of symptoms, you can connect with your doctor via phone or videoconference to get an instant consultation. It’s a convenient, low-cost alternative that every business should look to incorporate into its benefits package as part of an overall business continuity plan.
A business’s ability to operate continuously despite any disruptions depends on how well it can respond to customer needs. Telemedicine — and other ways of investing in employee health — can ensure that your team is ready and able to work through any unforeseen issues.
At the moment,76% of hospitals use technology (e.g., video, audio, chat, etc.) to provide remote patient care; the telehealth industry expects 80% year-to-year growth in the wake of COVID-19. For workplaces, providing telemedicine for employees can be the next logical step toward strengthening teams and overall business continuity in the following ways:
1. Round-the-Clock Medical Assistance: Unless it’s an emergency, patients typically have to work around a physician or facility’s schedule. That’s not an ideal situation for working patients — or their employers.
When you provide telemedicine for employees, members of your team can access care after hours, minimize the time they spend away from the office for treatment, and provide similar coverage to their dependents and family members. Remote medical options also help companies protect their healthier workers, which indirectly boosts productivity and overall attendance.
2. Curbed Health Insurance Spending: The average annual premium for an employer-sponsored health insurance plan was $20,576 in 2019, with employers covering $14,561 of that cost. Investing in employee health with telemedicine can help reduce those expenses and free up funds for other uses.
Telemedicine for employees can decrease health insurance’s impact on your bottom line, allowing more flexibility for employee raises and other perks. Telehealth also costs less than traditional coverage, so increased buy-in from team members can lead to a lower rate from the provider. By investing in employee health, there’s more room to invest in your people — the fuel of any business continuity plan.
3. More Convenient Employee Options: Prioritizing employee health indirectly prioritizes company health. The convenience of providing telemedicine for employees is an investment in employees, something that translates to loyalty, improved morale, and lower attrition.
While the medical conveniences are evident, think about the personal boosts telemedicine supplies employees. If a team member is on vacation, on a family outing, or working from home with a sick relative or child, telemedicine access gives that employee peace of mind that their medical issues can be tended to at a moment’s notice without professional or personal disruption.
Though COVID-19 has brought attention to the benefits and importance of telemedicine for employees, thinking of it as a team builder will have potentially far-reaching effects on how businesses provide health and safety measures in the workplace.
Integrity Staffing Solutions is a full-service staffing agency and ranks in the top 2% of agencies across the country for quality service based on ClearlyRated’s “Best of Staffing” client survey. To learn more about Integrity or for help with your hiring needs, visit integritystaffing.com or call 833-446-1300.
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