The landscape of occupational health care is evolving rapidly, driven by advancements in technology and the changing needs of the modern workforce. As organizations embrace hybrid work environments and prioritize accessible and efficient healthcare options, telehealth has emerged as a crucial component in the continuum of care.
In this blog, we’ll delve into the opportunities telehealth brings to organizations and their employees. We’ll explore:
- The benefits telehealth has that traditional health services don’t
- Why telehealth matters
- How telehealth impacts employees
Break the Barriers of Hybrid Work Environments
More than 40% of the workforce works remotely in some capacity, whether completely from home or in a hybrid model. That number is only going to increase, since nearly 98% of employees want the chance to work virtually at least some of the time.
With the rise of remote work, employees may find it difficult to access health services due to the distance between their home office and employer-run health clinics. And if companies have employees spread out across multiple cities or countries, each office location might not have access to in-person healthcare. In this environment, it can be a challenge to coordinate flexible health options for staff.
Telehealth presents a solution to bridge this gap, allowing employees to connect with occupational health providers remotely. Whether it’s for routine check-ups, consultations, counseling, or emergencies, telehealth ensures that employees can access timely care without the need for physical travel.
Improved healthcare accessibility is a win-win for employees and employers. It not only boosts employee satisfaction with their level of care, but enhances overall health outcomes in and outside the office by encouraging early interventions and preventative measures. And healthier employees are more productive employees, who are able to deliver value to the business.
Prioritize Mental Health and Well-Being Support
Telehealth is also emerging as a powerful tool in managing mental health and well-being, a critical factor that directly impacts an organization’s productivity and employee absenteeism rates. By making mental health services more accessible, telehealth allows organizations to provide critical care for employees in need, while improving overall employee engagement.
The convenience of remote mental health consultations gives employees a greater opportunity to seek out support and treatment. Telehealth is convenient and flexible and can be done on the phone or on video, which reduces the need for travel or missed time at work to seek care.
It’s also a cost-effective option for mental health services, which is a top concern for 24% of employers. With virtual mental health counseling and consultations, telehealth reduces overhead costs for in-person clinical visits, making it a good choice for organizations looking to offer comprehensive care without incurring skyrocketing costs.
Telehealth offers improved access, convenience, privacy, and support for individuals seeking mental health services, and ultimately contributes to a healthier and more productive and present workforce.
What other factors are influencing occupational health programs? Check out our blog, Empowering Better Wellness Through Technology to find out.
Clear and Efficient Case Management
Telehealth enables proactive case management, empowering occupational health providers to intervene promptly when employees face health concerns.
With telehealth, professionals can address health issues when they arise, giving employees information and support as needed. This approach reduces the risk of medical complications or delayed treatment, even when an employee might not have close access to in-person health care. Case managers are able to follow-up with employees remotely and continue monitoring and supporting them with real-time data throughout their recovery. If specialists are needed, telehealth makes it possible for employees to connect with experts who might not be geographically close.
Taking all of this into consideration, it’s no surprise that telehealth can help reduce recovery times, improve overall health outcomes, and promote quicker return-to-work timelines. While employees will still need to visit clinics and hospitals in-person, on occasion, adding telehealth consultations to your occupational health service delivery model optimizes the care continuum. This integrated approach to case management ensures employees receive quality, comprehensive care, no matter where they live or work.
Prevent Infectious Outbreaks with Remote Care
Infectious disease exposures can happen, and if they do, it’s important to have a robust system in place for handling these issues.
Offering remote health consultations prevents employees who are suffering from illness from exposing health providers and clinical staff to potential pathogens when waiting in clinic. It also prevents other clinical employees with weakened immune systems from contracting a new infection. Telehealth eliminates a great deal of risk in the occupational healthcare setting and contributes to a safer and healthier work environment–while still making sure that employees get the care and support they need
Implementing Telehealth Programs
Telehealth is not just a temporary response to changing circumstances–it will continue to be an integral part of occupational health care. In fact, more than 76% of US hospitals have systems in place to connect with patients virtually, and this trend is here to stay. To deliver the best occupational health care possible, organizations should consider providing telehealth options in conjunction with traditional in-person occupational health services.
By embracing telehealth, organizations can improve accessibility, enhance mental health support, optimize case management, and reduce the risk of infectious outbreaks. It means employees benefit from better healthcare and improved well-being, and companies benefit from more engaged and productive staff.
Telehealth is the next step in healthcare innovation, and it’s what will allow organizations to be able to meet the needs of their workforce efficiently and sustainably in the future.