There is a growing interest in virtual health care. Employers are finding many of their staff do not have access to family doctors, or some staff may find it more convenient to access virtual health care options as opposed to accessing walk in clinics. Virtual health care is a method, or methods, by which physicians and other health care providers, such as nurses or medical assistants, communicate with patients without physically seeing them in the office. This could be via telephone or video via an app. Virtual visits enable patients to communicate with their health care team from wherever they are, and in a way convenient for both the patient and the provider.
According to a survey by Medisys Health Group Inc., more than two-thirds of employee respondents said they would use the benefit if it were available to them. We are finding that virtual health care is indeed on the radar of many employers.
Employees like the ability to access services during off hours and weekends as well as the ability to bypass legnthly hospital waits for minor health problems. Employers like less work time being missed for appointments and the prospect of healthier employees as people are less likely to put off making an appointment to see the doctor or go to a walk in clinic if they are able to access health services virtually. Virtual health would also benefit people living in rural areas by increasing their health care options.
It is felt that some groups of employees (for example millennials or employees who are often travelling) would be more likely to use a virtual health care app.
When it comes to widespread implementation of virtual health across the country, many experts say the timing has never been better to make virtual healthcare a reality for patients and caregivers.