Why your business is healthier with virtual healthcare in your employee benefits plan
Virtual healthcare is here, and its powerful impact on employee productivity and satisfaction is beginning to attract the attention of employers seeking to maximize the value of their benefits plan. Because it is convenient, cost-effective and popular, employers of all types and sizes should be looking at virtual healthcare as a must-have for their benefits plan.
What is virtual healthcare?
At its basic level, virtual healthcare allows patients to connect with clinicians virtually, using their phone or computer. It leverages common technology tools to create a first-rate medical experience for anyone, anywhere, at anytime.
GroupHEALTH’s virtual healthcare service is powered by Akira, an innovator in the Canadian virtual healthcare sector. Akira allows plan members to consult with an accredited doctor or nurse practitioner by video conferencing using their phone, tablet or computer.
The Akira medical team can:
- Diagnose medical concerns
- Write prescriptions
- Order diagnostic tests
- Refer patients to doctors and other specialists
- Help facilitate in-person care when required
- Provide medical documentation
Virtual healthcare is voluntary, professional, convenient, secure and confidential. It’s also effective: more than half of the health concerns traditionally addressed in a doctor’s office can be handled virtually by Akira.
The Virtual Advantages
Everyone will experience a health event. Sometimes they’re positive health events (like meeting a fitness goal), but often we’ll experience a negative health event that requires treatment or advice from a medical professional. Virtual healthcare is another option for addressing a health event, but one that offers ultra-convenience.
What’s more, over 4 million Canadians are without a family doctor. Often this means that health events go undiagnosed and untreated, creating a spiralling effect that can lead to even more profound health events. By bridging the gap between patients and healthcare practitioners, virtual healthcare helps keep families healthier. And by using virtual healthcare for routine matters (like prescription refills ,etc.), Canadians save time and money.
Why Employees Benefit from Virtual Healthcare
1. Virtual healthcare is convenient
GroupHEALTH’s virtual healthcare, powered by Akira, can be accessed 24/7. There’s no driving to a doctor’s office or long waits at a walk-in clinic. There’s no need to miss work, waste time driving or accept appointment times that are inconvenient. Employees can choose the time that works best for them, consult with a doctor or nurse practitioner from any location they choose, and expect to speak to a practitioner in seconds.
2. Virtual healthcare provides continuity of care
Without a family doctor, many Canadians bounce from walk-in clinic to walk-in clinic, with little or no continuity of care. Akira’s virtual healthcare changes that. By assigning the same nurse practitioner/doctor for follow-up and subsequent visits (whenever possible), Akira’s care model makes things more comfortable for the patient, ensuring a better healthcare experience.
3. Virtual healthcare works anywhere, including outside Canada
For employees that travel a lot, having access to Canadian healthcare 24/7 from anywhere in the world is a huge benefit. It can replace the need to seek out medical aid in a foreign country, which can be expensive, unfamiliar and present challenges in communication. Using virtual healthcare is familiar, convenient and always available, wherever and whenever an employee is.
Why Employers Benefit From Virtual Healthcare
1. Virtual healthcare can decrease absenteeism
By providing your employees with access to virtual healthcare, they have a much more convenient option for addressing their health concerns. Medical appointments can be done from an office or private space. Because of the convenience of 24/7 access, employees are more likely to have their health concerns addressed (especially if they don’t currently have a family doctor), and they’re less likely to miss work to do it.
2. Virtual healthcare can increase employee satisfaction and productivity
Employees with convenient and affordable access to healthcare (such as GroupHEALTH’s virtual healthcare, powered by Akira) report higher levels of job satisfaction and higher productivity. Both are important factors in the success of your business.
3. Virtual healthcare can help you attract and retain employees
By offering virtual healthcare to employees in your benefits plan, you signal to the marketplace, and your own employees, that not only do you care about their health and wellbeing, but that you also provide popular and progressive services. Younger employees (who are less likely to have a family doctor) or employees in rural location may especially appreciate the convenience of virtual healthcare.
4. Virtual healthcare supports travelling employees
If you provide out of country medical coverage for employees, you’re aware that medical expenses can quickly add up. With GroupHEALTH’s virtual healthcare, powered by Akira, employees can access high-quality Canadian medical care from abroad. This can help them avoid expensive medical bills for an initial consultation: as long as they have a laptop, phone or tablet, they can easily get in touch with a doctor or nurse practitioner in Canada to discuss concerns. This helps control your plan costs.
5. Virtual healthcare can help keep employees healthier
Offering convenient and affordable access to health care professionals may mean the difference between whether an employee seeks out medical advice, or whether they don’t. In the long run this can affect the cost of your plan. Employees that choose not to seek medical advice for a health concern can find their health concern escalates to a more serious health issue. This is not good for the employee, and it can have a detrimental impact on the costs of your employee benefits plan.
Why include Virtual Healthcare in Your Employee Benefits Plan?
It makes sense that employees should be able to access healthcare services online.
Fortunately, services like GroupHEALTH’s virtual healthcare, powered by Akira, are cost effective, convenient, and can help increase employee satisfaction. By promoting a proactive approach to healthcare, your business benefits from healthier, more satisfied employees.
Good Advice is Key
Virtual healthcare can have a lot of benefits for both you and your employees. Are you interested in learning more about how it may be a good fit for your company? Review your options with one of our licensed advisors on the phone or in-person or contact us for a comparison quote.