As the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients using telecommunications technology, telemedicine has a lot to offer in terms of advancing the average employer health plan. And while virtual healthcare has been relatively slow to gain traction in Canada, Dialogue’s Co-Founder and COO Anna Chif believes her company’s incredible growth over the past few years “speaks volumes about the need and desire for telemedicine services in the workplace”.
Benefits of Telemedicine in the Workplace
Why is telemedicine so important for Canadian employers? Largely because it’s so important to their employees!1 Telemedicine is a simple, convenient way for personnel and their families to enjoy:
- Round-the-clock, on-demand access to online physicians and nurses
- A choice of communication methods, including chat, call, or video
- Medical consultations that happen when and how they’re needed - at no cost to the patient
At the same time, making telemedicine services part of your company’s health plan can reduce the high cost of absenteeism, even as it makes your business more attractive to the talent you need.
Here are four key areas where telemedicine is providing enormous benefits to employers and employees alike.
1. Keeping Employees Healthy & Happy
Global studies reveal that millennials value work-life balance2 above all other job characteristics. And according to Chif, that’s a statistic that HR leaders shouldn’t take lightly.
“The separation of work and family is a thing of the past, especially among younger workers. Employees are no longer looking for the 9-5 lifestyle. They’re looking for a company they can align with in terms of mission and values - and they’re willing to work extremely hard to be part of that.”
In return, however, those same employees need to know their employers have their backs when it comes to their health. After all, says Chif, when things are difficult at work, it’s going to affect an employee’s home life - and vice versa. “That’s why it’s essential for today’s employer to take an active role in their employees’ well-being.”
The people behind travel app, Hopper, couldn’t agree more.
Partnering with Dialogue, according to Hopper, has allowed their employees to better focus on lifestyle and work-life integration. And that’s especially important for an organization where telecommuting is common, and the need for a seamless healthcare solution that benefits everyone equally is paramount.
2. Keeping Employees Productive at Work
Absenteeism costs Canadian employers more than $16 billion3 annually. So it’s hardly surprising that the reduction of absenteeism in the workplace is a fundamental pursuit.
“I think one area where absenteeism is most measurable,” says Chif, “is in the case of working parents. You have a sick child, they wake up with a rash, you have to get to work, and so what do you do? You have to make time to take your child to the doctor, the clinic, or the emergency room.”
At least, she adds, that’s how things typically unfold when there’s no access to virtual healthcare.
“What’s great about telemedicine is that you can simply connect with an app, take a photo of something like your child’s rash, and within minutes you’re chatting with a nurse or doctor who can answer your questions and redirect you to the right place to get help.”
Research giant Coveo is just one of the clients that credits Dialogue with providing a return on investment that extends to reduced absenteeism. Not only has telemedicine done away with the need for Coveo employees to miss work to see a healthcare practitioner, they can take advantage of medical consultations from the comfort of their homes, or a private work space.
Virtual care platforms reduce time spent away from work, Chif adds, but they also contribute to greater on-the job productivity. “Employees who come to work sick, or who are suffering from a condition that may be preventing them from working effectively (presenteeism), ultimately contribute to revenue loss.”