Business

Virtual healthcare will save time (and increase convenience) for Canadians

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A 5 minute face-to-face interaction with a doctor can take roughly two hours away from the workplace.

For Canadians who work more than 40 hours a week, finding the time to fit a doctor’s appointment into an everyday schedule—no matter how painfully necessary—can be tough. Once at the clinic, patients are often faced with long wait times and more often than not, a waiting room filled with other sick patients.

Most Canadians take upto six days off annually to deal with the chore of doctor’s visits, according to 2018 research published in Benefits Canada, and even a five-minute middle of the day visit could take roughly two hours of time from the workplace. When added up, the many hours and often days off work for health-related appointments can lead to countless dollars in lost revenue for employers.

For companies looking for a solution to this strain on productivity, including virtual care in healthcare plans will change the course of their employees’ over-reliance on sick days.

Mother measuring temperature of her ill kid. Sick child with high fever laying in bed and mother holding thermometer. Mother with cell phone calling to doctor
According to Statistics Canada, Canadians with family doctors can’t always get appointments as quickly as they would like. 

Forty thousand Canadians visit emergency rooms every year just to renew prescriptions, and typically wait over four hours to see a physician – yet studies show 70 percent of ER and clinic visits can be replaced by virtual consultations without any impact on quality of care.

A new study commissioned by Medisys Health Group reveals that two in three Canadian employees want a better solution—reliable healthcare at their fingertips.

The research—which surveyed over 1,500 full-time and part-time employed adult Canadians with employee benefit plans—refers to apps that let individuals connect instantly with nurse practitioners, physicians and other health professionals through secure text and video chat, anytime and anywhere.

Currently, only 9% of Canadian employers offer virtual care to their employees, while average smart phone usage has increased by 60% over the past three years. The study also revealed that 71% of Canadian workers are willing to trade some of their current health benefits for technology-supported health services like virtual care.

“With ongoing access barriers, and supply and demand challenges within our healthcare system, coupled with the rise in smart phone use, it’s no surprise that Canadians want to supplement traditional doctor’s visits with virtual consults,” said Dr. Vivien Brown, Vice President, Medical Affairs, Medisys Corporate Health.

According to Statistics Canada, 4.5-million Canadian residents don’t have family doctors, and those who do can’t always get appointments as quickly as they would like. The biggest benefits of virtual care, according to participants in the study, include access to care during late hours and weekends (67%), less time missed at work (47%), more regular visits with a healthcare professional (45%) and less stress (29%).

A look at the Medisys interface. 

Unsurprisingly, the Medisys study found that virtual care is most appealing to millennials (67%), parents and caregivers (69%) and those dealing with chronic health conditions (70%).

With a few swipes, and couple taps on a phone with a professional, Medisys On-Demand is introducing 21st century healthcare to workplaces across Canada.

Medisys Health Group, Canada’s leading provider of employee wellness programs and executive health benefits, offers virtual healthcare to Canadian organizations through its Medisys On-Demand service, which delivers 24/7 medical support to Canadians wherever they are.