Virtual healthcare has gained momentum in recent years; the COVID-19 pandemic has been a driving force in increasing its usage and reach. Increasingly, more employee benefit plans do include virtual healthcare. Many employees use the service, especially younger employees, but there are others who have not yet recognized how valuable it is. If you already have virtual healthcare as part of your employee benefit plan, it’s time to start promoting it to your employees. There are many reasons why your employees will love virtual healthcare, including:
If your plan includes virtual healthcare, your employees have the ultimate convenience when it comes to healthcare. Virtual healthcare gives employees the ability to connect with doctors or nurse practitioners using their phone, tablet or computer.
Employees can access virtual healthcare 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Instead of juggling work to get to the doctor’s office, employees can virtually ‘visit’ a doctor from anywhere, at any time. The time savings are significant. No driving to the doctor’s office. No waiting in the waiting room. No driving home after the appointment. No traffic.
Instead of taking half a day off work to visit the doctor, an employee can simply step out for 15 minutes and then return straight to work. It doesn’t get more convenient than that.
The convenience factor continues, in that employees can access virtual healthcare while travelling abroad. This is invaluable when language acts as a barrier, preventing employees from receiving quality healthcare while travelling.
- Better Health
Virtual healthcare can act as an important supplement to existing health services. When healthcare is convenient and easy to access (like virtual healthcare), employees are more likely to seek help at the early stages of an illness or injury. This can lead to better health outcomes and earlier detection of disease.
Many Canadians do not have a family doctor. Those that do have a family doctor often have to wait for weeks in order to get an appointment. In addition, family doctors often have difficulty accommodating urgent appointments. As a result, some people choose not to seek help when they need it. Studies have shown that almost 70% of Canadians skip or avoid doctor’s appointments because of long wait times.
Virtual healthcare is the solution. Employees do not need to wait weeks in order to be seen. Virtual healthcare can also improve continuity of care between healthcare providers. Patient files are easily accessed so whichever physician or nurse practitioner is handling the appointment can easily view the patient’s past health profile.
It can also remove barriers for those struggling with mental health issues. Employees with concerns about their mental health may find it easier to seek health advice using their phone or tablet as opposed to visiting a doctor in person.
- Wide range of Services
Your employees will love virtual healthcare because of the wide range of health services available. Studies have shown that 70% of emergency room and clinic visits can be replaced by virtual consultations, without any negative impact on care.
Virtual healthcare professionals can:
- Diagnose medical conditions
- Provide referrals to other healthcare providers or specialists
- Order bloodwork
- Write new prescriptions or renew existing prescriptions
- Provide medical documentation
- Facilitate in-person care when required
Employees may not be aware of just how many of their health concerns can be addressed virtually. The wide range of services available and the convenience of accessing them virtually can have a very positive impact on the employee’s interaction with the healthcare system.
Virtual healthcare is good for business
As a business owner, there are a number of reasons you will love virtual healthcare as well: it’s good for business!
Virtual healthcare contributes to better health outcomes. Employees are more likely to seek medical advice in a timely manner, preventing health conditions from escalating. This is important because healthier employees are more productive. This is good for your bottom line.
You can also expect fewer absences due to medical appointments, and a lower instance of presenteeism. The sheer convenience (of skipping the travel time by attending a medical appointment virtually) really does remove a barrier to seeking medical advice.
It’s also good for business when it comes to recruiting and retaining employees. Virtual healthcare is often a sought-after benefit, and having it as part of your employee benefit plan can help you attract and retain employees. In the end, it benefits both the employee and you, the business owner.
Good Advice is Key
Does your employee benefit plan include virtual healthcare and do your employees know why it’s a great benefit? Are you considering adding virtual healthcare to your benefit plan? Review your options with one of our licensed advisors on the phone, or contact us for a comparison quote.
Whether you’re looking for extended health and dental coverage, disability coverage, or life and critical illness coverage, GroupHEALTH has affordable benefits packages that work as hard as you do.