Making Use Of High Touch Tools To Improve Healthcare Outcomes
In today’s workplace, employee retention strategies are becoming increasingly unique and employee-centric. Anniversary lunches, employee picnics, well-stocked pantries – the ideas are constantly evolving.
However, it seems that increasingly, workers tend to stick around longer with an employer that focuses on their well-being – both physically and mentally.
With the rapid advancement of technology, there is now a wide array of medical services available virtually at employees’ fingertips, providing employees with 24/7 access to healthcare providers and medical information. At the rate the technology is advancing and evolving, this will likely to expand at an exponential rate. Employees can easily access healthcare services via their mobile phones, tablets or any device that supports a medical-related application.
According to Marcia Otto, vice president of Product Strategy at West’s Health Advocate Solutions, these services include access to nurses’ support, medical-decision support, wellness programmes and employee assistance helpdesk.
Furthermore, Otto has highlighted that there is an upcoming trend to develop an all-in-one benefits hub, whereby employees can easily access all benefits services using one application or phone number.
While this might seem as if it is a herculean task to achieve, and a hefty cost for the HR department to implement, there are plenty of benefits and high returns on such an investment.
Employees have full control over their healthcare benefits
With automation, self-service is no longer seen as a complicated affair. Similar to how big supermarket chains such as NTUC Fairprice or Giant allow customers to have the option to check out their own purchases, providing employees with 24/7 access to their healthcare benefits offers the same kind of control and power.
From an employee’s point of view, such a system offers more flexibility and reduces the turnaround time. For instance, in the past, employees will have to reach out to the HR department in order to understand their healthcare benefits entitlements and it might take days or even weeks before the HR department can revert to the employee with the right information. By allowing employees to easily access their healthcare benefits via a one-stop benefits hub, they can easily get the information that they require in an instant.
At the same time, employees are taking more responsibility for their healthcare. They want to be able to understand their healthcare benefits and are taking proactive steps to stay healthy instead of solely relying on the mindset of “what the company can provide for me”. By being able to access their healthcare benefits from wherever they are and by the way that they prefer, they are can then identify the best applications or resources that will best meet their healthcare needs.
From the HR’s point of view, this can help to reduce the burden on the HR department as well. Instead of having to handle administrative benefits matters, this can reduce the amount of paperwork and help to streamline the processes in benefits administration as well. At the same time, given that these benefits tools are likely to be implemented on a software or cloud-based platform, the HR department can easily link this together with their HRMS, which allows them to easily keep track of employees’ information such as sick leave, dependent information or healthcare entitlements.
Without technology, healthcare and benefits administration, would remain a costly aspect in the overall HR process. However, it is also imperative to ensure the human element – in that employees are willing and receptive to using these high-tech tools. With a good balance of these two elements, these high-tech healthcare tools will certainly help improve healthcare outcomes within the organisation in the long run.
This article was first published on Gpayroll, on 28 May 2019. Information is correct at the time of publication.