Stress is costing US companies $300 billion every year due to increased healthcare costs and missed work days, according to Business Insider. Not to mention the impact of lower productivity, retention rates, and company morale. The costs of workplace stress has placed stress reduction as a top HR concern at many companies. In fact, 75% of US employers identified stress as their number one health and productivity concern according to a 2016 survey by Willis Towers Watson. Working parents are especially susceptible to high stress levels. Trying to juggle work, children, a marriage, and friendships is a daily challenge. An article in the New York Times reported that “fifty-six percent of all working parents say the balancing act is difficult”. And this struggle is affecting their health and their job performance.
To address this, employers are looking for ways to reduce stress in the workplace. They’re trying discounts to gyms, office social events, or relaxation break rooms. Another Willis Towers Watson report found that 36% of companies have already taken action to reduce stress, and an additional 47% are planning or considering action to reduce stress in the next three years.
But employers aren’t always looking towards their medical benefits as a possible solution. And that’s a mistake. A telemedicine solution makes healthcare more convenient and more affordable. This can greatly reduce medical stress, especially for parents.
Every parent knows the stress that comes with an unexpected illness, especially when it’s their child. They come to you in the middle of the night, complaining of a sore throat, pink eye, or an upset stomach. You’re immediately stressed, and it’s not just worry about your child’s health. You also have to decide how to balance this situation with work:
How severe is the situation? Does your child need to go to an Emergency Room? ERs are costly and time-consuming, and many common illnesses don’t require a visit to one. But how do you know? If you decide a visit to the ER is necessary, you’ll lose a night of sleep and there will be a hefty co-pay. You’ll go to work the next day exhausted and frustrated. And it might not have even been needed.
You can wait until the morning to call a doctor, same-day center, or urgent care facility. But which parent is going to go? You and your spouse compare schedules to see whose meetings are “more important” or can’t be easily rescheduled. The next few hours will be spent making phone calls, going to the appointment, and picking up any prescriptions.
Your employer has TelaCare Health Solutions, and you can call an actual doctor, not a nurse, at any time of the day (or night). Children’s illnesses can be diagnosed and treated via telemedicine 65% of the time. Plus, any necessary prescriptions can be sent to a 24-hour pharmacy. For conditions that need an in-person visit, the doctor can let you know whether or not an ER visit is necessary. All this can be done in less than 30 minutes.
Children are going to get sick, and it’s impossible to know when. But imagine if a parent could simply call a doctor 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to get their children the care they need. Less stress plus more time equals happier and more productive employees. Not to mention the actual bottom line savings the employer realizes from the lower cost site of care.
As employers look to new ways to reduce stress and improve the health of their employees, telemedicine should be top of mind. Telemedicine is more convenient and affordable than traditional health care options. And the benefits start as soon as one employee makes a phone call instead of visiting the doctor.