The future of healthcare will be online

  • March 18, 2021
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As labor flexibility grows, so does healthcare flexibility.

The Gallup Poll in 2019 showed that 55% of respondents «are very concerned» by the growth of expenses and reduction of availability of health care — this question heads the fifth year in a row on this annual list.

These problems extended during 2020 when many millions of people lost medical care because of mass dismissals. Besides, fear of infection with a virus and the overloaded service providers meant that fewer people received basic medical care necessary for them.

We will continue to be a more distributed workforce and this will require more flexible policy in the field of health care. It means that you offer more opportunities for receiving care when and as employees feel most comfortable. The satisfaction of these needs for health care will have additional benefits in the form of an increase in the deduction staff retention, employee satisfaction, and productivity.

The CDC said 41% of Americans delayed or avoided medical care in the first four months of the pandemic. The preliminary results published in JCO Clinical Cancer Informatics reported a sharp decrease in the number of screenings on several widespread types of cancer in April 2020 in comparison with the previous year. The Harvard University and medical technological firm Phreesia found a decrease in the number of visits of ophthalmologists by 79% and more than 60% of both Cardiologists and pediatricians.

Why simpler and qualitative health care saves time and money?

Health care matters for employees. The report of Transamerica Center for Health Studies for 2019 showed that 61% of respondents said that the advantage for health is very important for their general satisfaction with work — on the second place after payment.

A good digital healthcare platform will work with the existing insurance company of the organization and suppliers of medical services to offer employees a uniform destination for all of the medical requirements and questions. It saves workers from the need to address to the insurance company or to the practicing doctor concerning competency, payment, or urgent medical requirements, and they can receive good practical care.

Future of telemedicine

A simple example: at the Mayo Clinic from the middle of March to the middle of April the number of visits to offices was reduced by 78%, but the number of videos increased almost by 11,000%.

There are researches showing that the solution to an average chronic medical problem requires about two hours a day. Most part of this time is wasted on navigation in a health care system. It has a huge impact on work and takes away time.

Even when this pandemic no longer poses a widespread health threat, the virtualization of medical care will continue.

There will be more major organizations: hospital systems and other primary medical care organizations that will accept virtual care as part of usual practice.

What should companies think about now?

You should be able to monitor the health of your employees to ensure that people do not spread infectious diseases such as COVID-19, and you should make sure that all your employees know how to get the vaccine.

The most important step is trying to anticipate the health needs of your ever-changing workforce in the coming year, as some workers remain remote and others return to the workplace.

Good health is the only thing that interests all of us about having a better workplace — virtual, personal, or hybrid. The future of telemedicine is here and against the backdrop of the pandemic, companies have never had a greater opportunity to reinvent and simplify one of the biggest and most important benefits of the workplace.

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