Telehealth provides notable benefits to enterprises and employees alike, from greater convenience and high quality of care to significant cost-cutting potential. However, many workers have yet to take advantage of it. To help your company leverage all telehealth has to offer, you need someone on the inside to act as a “champion” for virtual healthcare — leading to greater utilization, improved employee satisfaction and better productivity, all of which boost the bottom line.
What Is a Telehealth Champion?
While a company’s telehealth champion generally works in human resources, anyone who is knowledgeable about telehealth and passionate about spreading the word is a great fit for the position. This person acts as a go-to source for all-things virtual care, proactively and consistently reminding employees of the program’s myriad benefits.
Many employees know telehealth exists but aren’t sure how or where to access it. Indeed, utilization is the number-one telehealth pain point among employers. Even if companies do a hard push to introduce the benefit, many employees simply forget they have access to virtual care – especially without ongoing promotion. Even with a 93% satisfaction rating, virtual care utilization is still low compared to what it could be.
For this reason, the champion’s primary goal is to help teams utilize all available virtual health services. With ongoing reminders and active promotion, employees will turn to telehealth first, especially since the virtual platform can treat more than 80% of common healthcare concerns from the comfort of home, according to MeMD patient data. This saves your company money in the end, as virtual visits are less expensive than traditional care.
When widely understood and utilized, telehealth has the power to transform your company’s culture. Gone are the days of working through a cold or flu — even if just a few years ago, coming to work sick was a badge of honor to prove dedication. In today’s pandemic climate, however, employees don’t need to put others at risk to show their commitment, nor do they have to work in an unproductive state. Champions encourage employees to seek the care they need at home, so they can feel better faster. Not only is this the right thing to do, but healthy employees are also more present and productive.
Telehealth also saves time in ways that many wouldn’t expect. Employees likely won’t need to take time off work to make a doctor’s appointment. This is because they can connect with a provider outside their workday — or even during lunch — and complete the visit from their phone or computer instead of travelling to a doctor’s office and sitting in a crowded waiting room. Since many workers aren’t aware of the full range of benefits of telehealth, your internal champion can spark greater interest in the convenience and simplicity of virtual care.
The better benefits your enterprise offers, the happier employees will be — leading to higher retention rates and less turnover. And since virtual care is increasingly important to employees, a telehealth champion can help you recruit and maintain top talent in an ever-competitive market at the height of the Great Resignation.
More than 81% of employees are currently considering leaving their jobs, but comprehensive telehealth solutions could be the differentiating factor that makes them stay. In fact, strong benefits have surpassed salary as the most important criteria when accepting a new position, according to a recent FlexJobs survey. The internal champion plays a crucial role in highlighting the best aspects of telehealth and why it’s important, enhancing company culture and showing workers that their employer values their well-being.
Alongside the internal champion, the right telehealth partner will allow enterprises to realize the full potential of virtual care. A good partner will make the champion’s job easier by arming them with educational and marketing materials — like web pages, email campaigns and educational tools – to support utilization among employees and boost ROI for your groups.
A telehealth champion is integral to increasing employee utilization of virtual care. Not only can this person help mitigate absenteeism and presenteeism while supporting productivity and satisfaction, but they can also ensure the company maximizes ROI on its telehealth program.