The growing prevalence of non-communicable diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes is on the rise, growing at an alarming rate year after year. Developed and developing countries alike are struggling to cope with the high cost of these diseases, in terms of lost lives, lost productivity, infrastructure financing and the human capital required to treat them.
In the past 20 years, information technology has revolutionized virtually every facet of our lives. Organizations of all types have long seen that information technology—viewed comprehensively and deployed effectively—can replace old challenges with new possibilities. However, one of the areas of slow evolution is our healthcare system.Rising incomes in developing countries are propelling rapid growth of demand for health goods and services, while disruptive technologies and innovations are creating new ways of meeting this demand. All these present a huge challenge to employers on understanding how employee health is affecting productivity and raising costs like never before.
Statistics @ the Workplace
As per the Wills Health & Survey Report, 2014
- 61% identified employees’ health habits as the primary challenge in controlling health care costs.
- 93% believe that healthier employees are more productive, yet very few are measuring the impact of productivity on employees’ absenteeism and presenteeism (when employees are at work but preoccupied with a health issue and not performing their best).
- On average, it costs employers more to insure unhealthy employees. Patients with chronic conditions, account for 75 percent of health care costs each year.
- Absenteeism and presenteeism cut individual productivity by as much as 1/3rd and cost organizations $2 to $3 for every $1 of direct medical costs such as health care premiums or pharmacy expenditures.
The business case for Health digitization
Companies will immensely benefit from heath digitization of the employee. They can negotiate lower premiums for a healthier employee population. Others will pay less as a share of employee health expenditures. All companies will benefit from reduced employee absenteeism and lost productivity associated with poor health.
As per organizations like Johnson and Johnson, every USD 1 invested in employee health care results in a USD 4 reduction in health care costs, lower absenteeism and improved productivity. And let’s not pass up an opportunity to let Harvard weigh in. Its recent study showed that for every dollar invested in health and wellness programs, large companies got back $3.27 in reduced healthcare costs, and $2.73 in costs connected to absenteeism.
Companies need to expand their scope to address the longer-term effects that chronic illnesses and poor health have on employee productivity and healthcare costs. This focus on keeping employees well includes preventive care and disease-management care for chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. Caring for ill spouses and children can also tax an employee’s time, Hence the family too needs to be taken into consideration. By seamlessly integrating the company’s doctors, labs and pharmacies, a healthcare hyper loop is created with the employee at the center of the ecosystem, thereby providing the convenience, reach and access to avail health care services and information in real time.
Through making healthcare digital, employers can integrate their Health Assessments for new joinees and annual health checkups of their employees to create a health rooster, thereby enabling the conception of customized health programs, rather than having general health camps and other programs which are a waste of resources and time.
Once a culture of health is created within the organization, employees can be motivated to take good care of their health and engage in prevention measures for themselves and their families.
myHealthvalet… Towards a Healthier U!
The business case for expanding employee healthcare services is evident as stated above, but the technology infrastructure required to support that move hasn’t been as easy to find. Relying on last-generation, “safety first” systems, employers are bogged down developing a complex series of workarounds to manage today’s demands for health digitization.
It’s a ridiculous waste, and totally unnecessary. Our Enterprise Health solution, myHealthvalet is designed, developed and built to support today’s employee health management model with a single, web-based system that includes a clinical EHR, and employee engagement tools. The system integrates seamlessly with health care service providers like doctors, hospitals, labs and pharmacies to consolidate information from across the health care community.
myHealthvalet’s health risk assessments engage employees to understand and improve their health behaviors. After completing a health risk assessment employees receive a confidential report focusing on their personal health risk factors. Each report includes customized suggestions on what he/she can do to improve his/her health – and reduce health risks. He or she will also receive an overall wellness score based on the number of positive health indicators found in the assessment. By reducing employee health risks, absenteeism and health care costs are minimized. The health risk assessment is the first step to improving the health culture in the workplace. By making changes to their daily habits, employees can improve their long-term health and wellness.
The real-time availability of comprehensive patient information, e-prescriptions, built-in alerts, and best practices offer physicians’ unparalleled clinical support for identifying patients’ needs earlier, lowering health risks, and effectively managing ongoing conditions. Physicians have quick access to a user’s medical information, the latest medical findings, and a database of information that provides greater accuracy on their diagnosis and prognosis. Health care providers can reach out to patients when they are due for important annual tests and users can schedule an appointment online for a routine physical exam or can be alerted that they’re overdue for a screening for diseases like diabetes or cancer.
Created by Hygeia e-Services Pvt Ltd, myHealthvalet enables users to take an active role in their health when and where it’s convenient on the go!—at no additional cost. Using secure and seamless activation, users and their families get quick access to an online tool that let them:
- Eliminate bulky physical health files
- View test results online
- Refill a prescription
- Request an appointment
- View past visit information
- Act for a family member, including managing physical as well as psychological health of children
- View health articles, information and other benefits
Employees can actively manage their health without losing time or reducing productivity during the workday. Employees get the care they need and employers see the return on their health care investment through reduced absenteeism and presenteeism. myHealthvalet provides employers the ability to view reports to view their employees’ total health assessment results giving insights into overall group demographics, health risks and disease prevalence. Employers can see what drives their health care costs and build a program tailored to their employees and their business needs.
“To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear” – BUDDHA
About the authors
RanjitKovilinkal is an entrepreneur, marketing specialist and teacher/coach. His experience is across IT, consulting, education and social enterprises. He has more than 16 years of corporate, teaching and entrepreneurial experience in India, the Middle East and Singapore and is a CEG and IIM-A alumnus. He is currently a mentor cum educator at CIIE and NEN and a practicing Psychotherapist, teacher and choreographer.
Gowtham Raj Viswanathan is an entrepreneur, product and finance specialist. His experience is across the Banking and IT industries. He has more than 16 years of corporate experience across India, Middle East, Singapore and Malaysia. Gowtham is an AC Tech (Anna Univ) and IIM-A alumnus.
For more information, plsemail to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Health information technology How can technology enhance care and reduce costs?:http://consultants.kaiserpermanente.org/info_assets/mercer/pdf/TIHP_IT_012610.pdf
The big-data revolution in healthcare: Accelerating value and innovation: http://www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare-systems-and-services/our-insights/the-big-data-revolution-in-us-health-care
Healthy workplace culture: https://www.concentra.com/employers/health-wellness/wellness-programs/healthy-workplace-culture/