The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of telemedicine for all consumers, forcing healthcare providers to move care beyond the clinical setting. This means that stakeholders across the continuum of care have to ensure improved access to critical services and reduce cost constraints.
The growing demand for virtualized access is pushing employers to transform and meet the evolving demands of employees, identify who needs additional support, such as those living with chronic conditions, and help them manage their health.
Patients with chronic diseases need to personally manage their health and make changes in their behavioral patterns, such as food consumption, and its impact on their health indicators like blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, to name a few.
These high-risk employees are also one of the biggest drivers of cost for employers. According to a study, the seven most common chronic diseases have a total impact of $1.3 trillion on the U.S. economy annually.
This is why employers need to integrate virtual care technologies into their benefits plan to improve care coordination and increase access to convenient care. Frequent touchpoints can continually engage chronic care patients, resulting in better disease management and improved health outcomes.
But how can employers revamp virtual care to assist employees who need additional support? What are the key strategies to expand access to care?
Improve health outcomes with personalized interventions
Employees with chronic conditions expect healthcare providers to work with them on an ongoing basis to make sure that their health is improving.
This is where virtual care comes in. Rather than relying on in-person visits, virtual care integrates remote patient monitoring with virtual health coaching to track, engage, and connect employees to the right care at the right time.
With an automated conversation system, employees engage within the healthcare ecosystem in a more honest and upfront manner, thus enabling care based on individual needs. By automating workflows, virtual care offers the ability to provide continuous, collaborative and comprehensive employee-centric care.
Enable Whole-person Care Through Remote Patient Monitoring
Remote patient monitoring via connected devices or via text helps employees get tailored recommendations for employer-sponsored benefits. These devices are central to helping providers and care teams collect patient data and monitor diseases from afar. These devices include: glucose monitoring devices, digital blood pressure cuffs, and voice apps to enable smart reminders.
Remote monitoring is an important part of chronic care management to enable reminders for patients to measure blood pressure or sugar levels and take prescribed medications, establish physical activity goals, and receive condition-specific coaching to improve food choices to manage hypertension.
Promote Digital Health Literacy
With an increasing number of people living with one or more chronic conditions, employers need to re-orient the way care is provided, empower employees, and increase their ability to manage their own health. This requires sufficient levels of health and digital literacy among patients and healthcare providers.
In order to promote digital health literacy, employees must know that the technology exists, understand how to use technology, see value in it, and be motivated to use it.
Employers should consider which solutions are best suited for their unique patient populations and outline a strategy to prepare both their employees and providers to utilize the technology to better access healthcare benefits.
Improve health outcomes with real-time data
Through a comprehensive virtual care solution, employers can reach out to more employees effectively. Armed with real-time data, providers can respond quickly with timely interventions and modify prescriptions to help improve the employees’ health.
And over time, the use of personalized kits and health coaches would support positive habit formation that would encourage adherence to care plans and improve health outcomes.
By developing individualized care plans, coordinating between providers, and helping employees connect with stakeholders across the healthcare ecosystem and within their communities, virtual care ensures that employees are actively monitored and motivated to access care.
To learn how you can manage the growing burden of chronic conditions through a virtual care solution, get a demo.
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