Employees want virtual healthcare. Only 9% of employers offer it.

Mobile Apps Concept of Online Treatment and Health care in Modern Flat Style Vector Illustration EPS10

As it stands, only 9% of employers offer virtual healthcare services. Despite this, the same survey by Medisys Health Group revealed that nearly 67% of Canadian employees would use virtual care if it was included in their benefits plan and over 70% of employees are willing to trade existing benefits for technology-accessible services.

This new trend is predominantly driven by employees aged 18-34 according to another survey by RBC Insurance Services Inc. In fact, the results showed that 78% of employees in that age group said a virtual care offering would improve their opinions about their employer. That is compared to the 55% of employees aged 55+ who feel the same way. 

Why more businesses should offer virtual healthcare services

This interest in virtual healthcare reflects how our world is evolving. Most of us spend hours each day tethered to our devices, using apps for news updates, networking, banking, and staying in touch with family and friends, etc. So why not have a readily accessible app that connects employees to healthcare professionals as well?  

The fact is many employees don’t have family doctors. And those that do, usually have trouble securing a same-day or next-day appointment with their practitioner. In those instances, they are forced to visit a walk-in clinic or hospital emergency room. For a quick 10-minute appointment with a medical professional, they may spend hours, if not an entire day, getting to health clinic, seeing a doctor, and filling a prescription or getting a referral to specialist. 

Over the course of a year, it is estimated that an employee will take between two to six or more days off for medical appointments. And those who are parents require the same amount of time to take their kids to the doctor’s office as well. 

Sometimes, it becomes so taxing on time and energy that employees will forgo visiting a doctor altogether. But presenteeism — working through an illness whether psychological or physical — only compounds the issue and leads to a decline in productivity and the potential for costly errors on the job. 

[Read more: ‘Presenteeism: the hidden productivity cost that might be affecting your company’]

All of this contributes to why workers want more healthcare services at their fingertips. Whether it’s messaging a mental health professional during a stressful period in life, video chatting with a doctor to get a referral to a specialist, or speaking with a nurse for guidance on over-the-counter treatments for common seasonal illnesses, virtual services make healthcare more accessible. 

In turn, employees can spend less time worrying about their health, and more time feeling healthier and happier, both at home and on the job. For the employers, virtual healthcare services can contribute to thousands of dollars in savings per employee every year, recouped solely by lowered absenteeism due to medical visits.  

Ready to set up virtual healthcare services? We can help.

When it comes to recruiting top candidates in 2020, the most competitive employers are thinking ahead by including virtual healthcare in their employee benefits offering. It’s a strategy that not only helps them stand out and attract budding talent, but also keeps their existing workforce healthy and happy. 

At BenefitDeck, we deliver progressive healthcare services to Canadian companies who want to nurture work-life balance and empower employees to be proactive with their health. Today, this includes integrating telehealth into their overall benefits strategy.

Sound like something your company could be interested in? Send our team an email or give us a call so that we can tell you more about virtual healthcare and how it can positively impact your organization. 

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