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What is Virtual Care and How Can it Benefit Your Workforce

August 28th, 2023 | 3 min. read

By Everside Health

doctor smiling on a screen during a virtual call

Virtual health care is revolutionizing how organizations offer benefits to their workforce and transforming how people get access to care. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 37% of adults in the United States used telemedicine within the last year. Virtual primary care means workers no longer have to worry about things like living too far away from a clinic or provider or having to take time off work to get the care they need. They can see a doctor any time that works with their schedule – regardless of where they live or work.

There are many advantages for organizations who offer virtual care in addition to their Advanced Primary Care benefits – learn about them here.

What is virtual care?

Virtual health care leverages tech like video conferencing, web-based gateways, and mobile applications to offer virtual primary care services from distant places. This means patients can receive care from doctors without leaving their homes or offices. Instead, a provider can assess a patient’s condition via video conference and prescribe medications or treatments accordingly. Moreover, virtual care providers offer 24/7 access to medical services for those with hectic schedules who cannot make it during regular office hours.

How it works

Telemedicine, or telehealth, uses technology to provide medical services remotely. It offers access to care through secure video conferencing platforms, like Skype and Zoom, mobile apps, phone calls, text messages, and emails.

Benefits

Since the beginning of the pandemic, virtual care has become an increasingly popular method for delivering medical services and treatments. Many organizations today are now adopting or adding this alternative to in-person care. It’s a safe, effective, and convenient way for workers to get the care services they need. Virtual health care services can provide significant advantages with enhanced health outcomes, including:

  1. Convenience: One of the most obvious benefits of virtual care is convenience. It means no longer having to take time off work to get to and from appointments. Increased convenience leads to improved medication adherence and a higher likelihood of making and keeping follow-up visits for improved overall health outcomes.

  2. Fast access to care: It’s also common to be able to get appointments sooner – often the same or next day – rather than having to wait weeks to see a provider. Instead, people can just log into their provider’s website, portal, or app, or use a secure link to connect, and they’re face-to-face (in the technological sense) with a doctor within minutes. Easier to access care can be a significant motivator in terms of addressing health concerns before they become potentially worse.

  3. Cost: Virtual visits are often more affordable than traditional office visits, according to studies.

  4. Access: Virtual care offers access to medical experts who may not be convenient to get to due to location, distance, lack of mobility, or other issues.

  5. Pleasant experience: Finally, many people find that speaking with a physician over the phone or via video chat reduces anxiety, since it eliminates fear associated with visiting a doctor’s office in person. They’re also more likely to seek preventive measures when getting an appointment isn’t a hassle.

Types of care

Most types of primary care can be offered virtually, including physical exams, routine checkups, and treatment for minor illnesses like colds and flu. Mental health professionals now offer virtual counseling sessions too, which can help people manage depression and anxiety disorders effectively from home. 

How virtual healthcare can help even when your workers live farther away

Through virtual visits, patients can access their physician’s expertise remotely for consultations on most medical issues, including chronic conditions. In addition, technology enables remote patient monitoring. Physicians can track vital signs like blood pressure or glucose levels over time through data collected remotely from wearable devices or other connected technologies.

Positive impact of virtual healthcare on your organizations

The cost of health care for employers has jumped in recent years, and the trend has no signs of slowing any time soon. A recent survey by Willis Towers Watson – that surveyed 445 employers who employ more than 8 million employees across the country – found that employers expect healthcare costs to increase another 6% within the next year. 

Safe to say, saving money is top of mind for most organizations today. But lowering the total cost of care by offering convenient access to vital health services virtually isn’t all – offering virtual care access also makes businesses more appealing to top talent. 

How Everside Health can help your organization take advantage of virtual primary care

Everside’s CareAnywhere offers your workforce secure access to care without having to leave their homes, so they can get primary care services even if they live far away from your onsite or nearsite care center.

CareAnywhere works alongside Everside’s Advanced Primary Care model, which provides comprehensive and personalized primary care for employers and unions.  

Virtual primary care can be a powerful tool for organizations and union workers alike. Enhancing Advanced Primary Care with CareAnywhere lets employers and unions provide high-quality care to their workforce, regardless of geography.  

Learn more about offering CareAnywhere by reaching out to Everside Health today. 

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Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db445.htm#:~:text=In%202021%2C%2037.0%25%20of%20adults,compared%20with%20 men%20(31.7%25)

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31342852/ 

https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2022/09/15/2517189/0/en/U-S-employers-double-down-on-controlling-healthcare-costs-enhancing-affordability.html