Virtual care is changing the landscape of healthcare delivery and access. Learn how your organization can take advantage of this promising innovation.

| 4 years ago

Harnessing the Benefits of Virtual Care

Virtual care is changing the landscape of healthcare delivery and access. Learn how your organization can take advantage of this promising innovation.
The topic of virtual care has been building momentum for years. Born from a need for access and convenience, along with technological advances and the constant drive to reduce healthcare costs, the era of virtual care isupon us.

With major cost savings potential for employers, promising improvements in population health and hospital business models, along with patient and provider experiences, it’s not a big surprise that many employers are exploring the advantages that can be offered with virtual care.

Advancements in the adoption and implementation of virtual care programs have changed the care delivery and access landscape in many ways. With faster internet connections and widespread adoption of smart phones, Atrium Health connects patients with providers via webcam, email and phone.

Providers use the same technology to consult with each other and access specialist opinions when specialized care isn’t physically available. Patients, at the same time, are using devices to relay health information like heart rate, vital signs and blood pressure so physicians can monitor ongoing chronic conditions.

Atrium Health's Employer Solutions provides virtual urgent care and virtual health coaching, leading the charge in the region for this type of care for employers. We consult with businesses and other organizations to discover how virtual care can play a role in existing employee wellness programs, then connect employers with implementation services that offer the best and most appropriate elements of virtual care.

Cost savings through virtual care can be substantial for employees and employers. Some employers have found that virtual health visits can cost as much as 60 to 70 percent less than in-person visits. A recent survey found that telehealth visits could save nearly $100 per visit when compared to in-person visits. For patients managing chronic conditions, the time and monetary savings can add up quickly.

In addition to cost savings, virtual care saves the patient valuable time by not having to leave the office to attend appointments. Employers can offer private spaces for virtual care appointments, often drastically reducing the amount of time an employee would otherwise use to visit a healthcare provider. Employees who prefer not to use a fixed location can use a smart phone or tablet to participate in virtual visit from anywhere, making the service even more flexible.

Another benefit? Virtual care may lessen the risk of transferring communicable diseases by reducing the amount of contact patients have with physicians and with each other. Patients experiencing a cold or fever can receive initial consultation online instead of visiting a doctor on-site where they risk spreading germs to others.

With all of the positive outcomes associated with virtual care, it may be worth considering how it could be added to your employee wellness program. Virtual care offers significant positive effects and reduces costs in some key areas. Consider it another tool in your toolbox of wellness solutions.