When it comes to health care, a lot of companies take the preventive approach, such as implementing programs and challenges that focus on losing weight or quitting smoking. By doing this, companies are choosing to ignore a crucial aspect of employee care, health/disease management, which can be likened to putting a band aid on a wound that needs stitches. A program like Continuwell is beneficial, as its telehealth services will fill in the gaps that exist in wellness plans, so that members know how to stay healthy and prevent illness.
While wellness programs are helpful and challenge employees to be their healthiest self, they focus on only the surface level of a person’s health issues. In addition to only focusing on half of the problem, studies show that a wellness plan that only focuses on lifestyle management does not save a company as much money as being combined with a health/disease management program. You cannot tell what health issues an employee is suffering from just by looking at them. This is why it is so important to implement a wellness plan that works in conjunction with a disease/health management program. This focus on an employee’s pre-existing and developing chronic conditions, will help to prevent a major medical event. Choosing to focus only on one aspect of an employee’s health, such as weight loss, as many companies do, leaves major gaps in their all-around care.
Continuwell is able to provide employees with the disease/health management services that many wellness programs lack. For example, a diabetic employee in the office has missed a dose of insulin and their blood sugar is over 200. Instead of taking off work to go to their doctor’s office, they can call or chat with a Continuwell nurse right from their desk. The nurse will follow the Schmitt-Thompson protocols and assess all of the employee’s other symptoms and develop a plan to return their blood sugar level to normal, saving time and money.
In addition to health concerns, there is the major aspect of financial savings. The RAND Corporation published a study on PepsiCo’s wellness and disease management program. This study found that PepsiCo had a return on investment (ROI) of $3.80 for every dollar that they spent on their disease management program; while, the lifestyle management only programs saw a ROI of $0.50.
Furthermore, companies that run these programs together also experience lower rates of employee absenteeism, saving money because employees are taking less sick days. Continuwell’s easy access and around the clock availability has saved many employees from making an unnecessary visit to the emergency room by providing them with a registered nursing professional who is able to listen to their symptoms and advise them as to what steps they need to take next. This in turn saves both the employees and the employers money.
Going forward, companies should examine what programs they have in place and reevaluate ways to improve them, for the sake of the health of their employees. Wellness programs should set out with the intention to make their employees healthier, which in turn will help boost productivity that is beneficial to the company. If you are interested in finding out more about how you can provide your employees with our Continuwell services and how these gaps can be filled, please contact us for more information.