Over a year into the government restrictions in place because of COVID-19 many people have grown fatigued from hearing about the ‘new normal’ that we are moving towards. We want to see the results and move on with things. There seems to be a negative connotation with regards to this, people feel like they are going to be forced to carry on with things that they don’t like but have you stopped to think about the ways that things have changed that are positive for you?
One of the innovations that has come to the forefront with the pandemic is the rise of the virtual meeting, and this includes the ability to see a medical professional without physically visiting their office. This is a huge change for doctors and patients alike. Prior to the pandemic most medical appointments were carried out in person and required missed time at work or with your family to complete. What we have found out is that there are things that you can get done with a doctor without having to physically go and see them. Think of it this way, if you break your leg skiing you definitely need to see a doctor. This is not something that can be handled virtually. What about a prescription renewal though? If you are on a maintenance drug do you need to go and see your doctor for a renewal of a prescription where the dose isn’t changing
Did you know that many group benefit providers have added virtual care as an option that you are now able to take advantage of? Using your computer or tablet you can log into your account and set up virtual appointments with physicians. These physicians can help you with minor health problems, refer you to specialists, refill a prescription or help you find other services such as mental health professionals. This is not a service that ends when the COVID restrictions end. They will be ongoing and will allow you to fit doctors appointments into your schedule with far less time required than in the past. As an employer it means less lost time due to employees needing to travel to doctors offices during working hours. As an employee this service is awesome when the alternative is packing up kids and taking them to a waiting room so that you can see the doctor.
The push back that comes to mind is often that the patient isn’t seeing their family doctor. To this I would reply with a question. When you need to see a doctor quickly do you go to a walk-in clinic? The odds that your family doctor is working at the clinic you go to are typically pretty small, you just need to see a doctor. Now compare the idea of setting a virtual consultation with a doctor to sitting in the waiting room at a walk-in clinic. With what we have learned about transmission of illnesses in the past year I know that the idea of a waiting room where people around you aren’t feeling well is less attractive than ever
Promoting an environment where your employees feel like they have access to tools that will help them with the overall wellness of their families is essential. If you are an employer that has made the effort to provide your employees with benefits make sure that they know how to use them effectively. This adds to employee satisfaction and this is why you have offered benefits in the first place.