Telehealth: Breaking Barriers and Delivering Concierge Models of Service Delivery
May 10, 2017
According to Harvard Professor John Quelch, every company has a “public health footprint.” One of the ways it can be seen is through its attention to employee health and well-being in its work practices and benefits. Health and mental health at an individual level can profoundly impact productivity, absenteeism, and workforce turnover; which is why we see a shift in industry toward promoting health as a corporate value.
As part of our ongoing support and consultation with high-profile executives, a theme that has repeatedly emerged is that with increased responsibility and demand comes increased stress. If not addressed, these stressors can impact an executive’s ability to function at the level needed to sustain continued success personally and professionally. In addition, due to their high-profile status and the competitive nature of industry, many of these executives are hesitant to reach out for assistance through typical channels. In addition to that, their work may include frequent global and domestic travel and 16-hour work days. They are constantly on the go, which introduces a barrier to those typical service channels.
Engaging support and consultation via telehealth platforms is one of the tools that companies can offer to executives to help them maintain resiliency and thrive amidst the demands placed upon them; and to eliminate those aforementioned barriers to access. Technologies are available that can build an integrated system of care that entwines both virtual and face to face modes of care, oriented around the individual, creating a customized concierge model of service delivery. Telehealth can work alongside and enhance traditional face to face service both in-between and during consultations (Burns et al., 2014). As technology has advanced, it is now possible for companies to select a technology which complements existing policy frameworks, such as HIPAA; so that executives feel secure when engaging these telehealth platforms. Executives can connect with consultants and coaches while they travel, or they can schedule a session between other meetings via telephonic or virtual web conferencing platforms; saving time from having to travel to and from the traditional office for a face-to-face consultation. The ease of access and flexibility in consultations provided on telehealth platforms potentially increase utilization of support services and promote health and resiliency in executives; which, in turn translates to an overall positive impact on operations in the company.
Quelch, John and Emily Boudreau. Building a Culture of Health: A New Imperative for Business. SpringerBriefs in Public Health, 2016.
Burns, Jane., et al. Advice on Innovative Technologies in e-Mental Health: Briefing Paper for the National Mental Health Commission. Young and Well Cooperative Research Center, October 2014.