Healthcare in Nigeria as in most of Sub-Saharan Africa is hardly accessible and when it is, the cost of accessing quality health care is usually beyond the citizens. This directly impacts on economic output as man hours are lost as a result of never ending health issues that could have been resolved through a visit to a credible and affordable physician.
The growing cost of health care and inaccessibility to such is still a growing concern that continues to affect small and large organisations in Africa, a solution to this are innovative technologies. In the United States where Healthcare is at its optimum, it is estimated that 80% of employers will offer Tele-health services by 2018. A Consumer Health Connections study in a state in USA, reported that, with the presence of telehealth, 70 percent of physician visits were handled virtually and 90 percent of patients were “highly satisfied” with the care they received.
There are two common services that are offered on this innovative platform, they are; Telemedicine and Nurse Triage. What are they, what can be treated virtually, and what are the benefits? Here is what Employers need to know.
Telehealth services help people access convenient and timely health care via remote consultation. Using telemedicine, health professionals can diagnose and treat conditions like allergic reactions, sprains, lacerations, malaria fever, infections and more.
Nurse triage allows an employee to speak to a nurse as soon as a medical concern arises. The nurse determines the urgency of the issue and advises the employee to schedule a doctor’s visit, implement on the spot treatment or go to the emergency room.
BENEFITS OF NURSE TRIAGE
1. No more unnecessary waiting at hospitals
Telemedicine sessions can replace visits to a physical office. There are on the spot physicians who will see patients via live feeds. Employees are more likely to attend follow-ups through the same video feeds and they spend less time traveling and waiting for appointments which saves the employee and employee productive time.
2. Instant Expert advise
Nurse triage provides the opportunity for employees to speak with a medical personnel as soon as health complaints are made. This helps reduces costly and unnecessary trips to the emergency room and urgent care and puts the medical treatment decision into the hands of an expert rather than the employer, and employees get to the right place, at the right time, for the right care.
3. Deploys basic existing technology
Organisations can access nurse triage services using a standard telephone line, and telemedicine solutions are quickly becoming more convenient with technological advances. Today, employees can access high quality health care with basic smartphone or webcam.
4. Keep employees working
After a virtual session with a doctor, employees often return to work within an hour. Delivery quality and hassle-free healthcare experience. That means no waiting times, personalized care, better patient engagement and hence improved health outcomes.
5. Saves Money
Telemedicine sessions usually cost less than traditional office visits or hospital visits by either physicians or employees. Both services can lower costs by reducing time away from work.
The ability to take care of medical concerns quickly and conveniently is a win-win for business owners and employees. Employees get the care they need to get back to work safely, while employers are empowered to play a larger role in health care decisions and make a significant impact on workers’ compensation claims costs.