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How COVID-19 Has Led to the Rise of Virtual Adoption for Occupational Health


Healthcare experts say that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital health and virtual care forward by at least three years. Up from 14% in 2019, a recent Gallup survey showed 34% of Americans now say they have used telemedicine. 46% say they are likely to use it in the future. Due to this increased adoption, healthcare organizations have put a new focus on improving in areas of digital health, specifically in terms of virtual health, remote monitoring, and healthcare technology.  

While virtual occupational health continues to grow in adoption, few organizations have embraced the product technology to its full potentialThe first step to meeting worker needs is understanding that when employees have convenient access to occupational health in the workplace – whether through a physical wellness center or virtual access – it is often the first place they will go for support. Engaging with employees through a platform that is convenient and increases access will enhance your ability to deliver medical care for work related injuries and illnesses, provide nurse triage and first aid, and offer medically appropriate guidance for safe return-to-work strategies and more.  

While occupational health is not a service that will ever be delivered entirely virtually, there are many components of an integrated occupational health solution that can go beyond in-person care to embrace a hybrid digital and physical model.  

What steps can organizations take to deliver high-quality occupational health care? 

Embrace innovative applications of care 

The first step to building a more powerful, integrated solution is embracing all of the innovative technologies that are available. COVID-19 changed the virtual space, and over the past year, many methods of occupational health have been adapted to the virtual environment. Especially at a time where many employee populations are working in remote or hybrid environments, virtual occupational health support means that employees can get expert care quickly, no matter the time of day. For manufacturing workforces, this means even second and third shift workers have access to after-hours care. Technology has adapted to the new normal and it is important that organizations adapt their solutions as well.

Utilize integrated technology to prevent injury and illness 

When it comes to healthcare, employers are bombarded with numerous point solutions, which means that oftentimes occupational health teams find themselves working in a silo. Utilizing a comprehensive care solution helps employers focus their efforts and removes barriers to care for members. When delivering care through an integrated technology platform, providers have access to a single medical record of truth and communicate seamlessly with other providers if in-person healthcare services are required.

Picture this: 

Imagine a worker at an automotive manufacturing plant who lifts a heavy piece of equipment and experiences low back pain after the onsite occupational health center hours of operation. The worker reports his injury to the site safety team and his manager. The worker uses the My Premise Health app on his phone to access the Virtual Occupational Health team on-demand. Within minutes, the worker has a virtual visit with an experienced occupational health provider, preventing the worker from leaving work to go to the local emergency room. In the virtual visit, the worker is assessed by the provider, given a conservative self-care treatment plan, and follows up with the onsite occupational health center the next day.

The Premise Health Approach 

Premise Health’s Digital Wellness Center takes a member-centered approach that spans primary care through specialty care. Our centralized care team supported by a concierge member experience team leverages advanced technology and innovative partnerships to support and guide members throughout their care journeys, serving as trusted partners and allies along the way. Provider teams not only build lasting relationships this way, but they also drive better outcomes by using data to proactively engage and direct members to make smarter healthcare decisions that generate significant cost savings inside and outside our primary care ecosystem.

As part of the Digital Wellness Center, a dedicated team coordinates with national and local providers and deliver 50 state, 24/7 access to virtual occupational health services. Care is always delivered by a licensed occupational health provider and capabilities include injury and illness care, evaluation, first aid treatment, triage and referrals to local hospital, urgent care or specialist if needed, return to work, stay at home oversight, and more.

Whether its routine primary care or a specialized occupational health, members receive treatment from a centralized team that is connected by our integrated technology platform, My Premise Health, to deliver truly seamless care from start to finish. This Premise employed team includes primary care physicians, a concierge member experience team, behavioral health specialists, pharmacists, occupational health nurses, care navigators, care managers, and data analysts – all utilizing the same technology and tools – to deliver a broad spectrum of care.

Interested in learning more about our virtual occupational health services? Contact us today.

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