Why Employers Should Offer Virtual Care

A female employee is having a text conversation with a mental health therapist on Akira’s virtual platform about the trouble she’s been having with her stress and lack of sleep this week

This post was written by Akira

Virtual care, health care delivered through digital technology, is becoming mainstream in the US, and Canada is quickly catching up. Thanks to platforms like Akira, Canadian employers now have a new value-driven benefit to offer employees that helps reduce absenteeism and increases productivity in the workplace.

New models in finance, hospitality and transportation, introduced by companies like KOHO, AirBnB and Uber, have used technology to give more choice and control to consumers – similar opportunities remain abundant to improve health care. The increase in adoption and utilization of virtual care by Canadian health care providers, care settings, and patients themselves, suggest that the mindsets and behaviours of Canadians are shifting in health – they recognize the power of virtual care and the impact it can make.

Millennials among top users

The Canadian Medical Association states that seven in 10 Canadians say they would take advantage of virtual care consults, and those between the ages of 18 to 34 – heavy users of the health system and parents – support the reimagined health care the most.

Reduce absenteeism

In Canada, an employee takes an average of 10 sick days per year. Taking into account the average Canadian salary, an estimated 10 days of absenteeism can cost a company an average of $2,100 per employee annually. Meaning Canadian companies are losing billions of dollars each year in reduced productivity, wages, and poor quality of goods and services. And because missed work days have a profound financial effect on a company’s bottom line, it is beneficial for most businesses to implement strategies to monitor, reduce and respond to absenteeism.

The power of Akira’s virtual care

With Akira, health care is delivered through technology for employees and their families. Patients can safely and securely text and video or audio chat with a health care professional, without having to go into a physical doctor’s office.

Patients can book video sessions from anywhere, on their time, with easy follow-ups via messaging. They can also receive prescriptions, lab requisitions and specialist referrals, plus get access to their health records. All done virtually from the comfort of their home or convenience of their office, without requiring a physical visit to the doctor.

These are the top three reasons employers choose to include Akira’s virtual care in their employee benefits plan:

1. Timely care

Akira provides an instant connection between clinicians and patients from anywhere, and at any time – eliminating unnecessary wait times and travel when a physical exam is not required. Patients can reinvest this time in the things that matter: being more present at work, spending quality time with friends and family, and the like.

2. Innovative communication

Through the Akira virtual care app, a user can log on and immediately begin a conversation with a medical professional by text. This not only ensures quick-responses to health care concerns, it also fosters meaningful relationships. Patients can stay connected and engaged with their care team, while sitting in a meeting or at their desk.

3. Increased productivity

It is no surprise that being sick makes an individual less productive. However, widespread absenteeism increases the workload and stress levels of employees, hurting morale and taking a toll on productivity of a workforce overall. Virtual care platforms, such as Akira, reduce absenteeism by allowing employees to initiate care earlier, get well faster, and support preventive health and wellness year-round.

The communication advantages of virtual care

Health is catching up to the innovations in finance, hospitality and transportation to see a whole new way that care can be delivered.

  • Virtual care facilitates a continuous connection between patients and health care providers. Patients can initiate care at the earliest stages.
  • Virtual care stitches together health systems, providers and resources, such that health records are available to patients wherever they seek care.
  • Patients don’t have to wait days for an appointment or settle for a search engine to act as a health advisor. Patients get notifications directly to their phone as soon as results are received.
  • Patients can keep their health care team with them, wherever they go. All they need to access great health care for themselves and their family members is an internet connection and a mobile device.

While face-to-face care is still necessary under certain circumstances, virtual care can help save employees valuable time and decrease work absenteeism. It gives employees more access to tools that can help them manage stress throughout the week, allowing them to be more productive at work and in their day-to-day lives.

Invest in your employees’ health while giving them back time to spend on the things that matter to them. Bring your employees’ health experience up to par with the expectations of today’s modern workers and put your employees in control of their health and time.

Did you know you can offer Akira’s virtual care platform as part of your Honeybee employee benefits plan? Akira is included at no additional cost in the Honeybee Complete plan, but can also be added to other plans for a small fee. Cut down absenteeism and increase productivity with this on-demand health care solution!