The Best Way to Acquire and Retain Talent
Bring health care to your employees
While a flattening real-estate market may indicate Denver’s popularity is fading slightly, the number of people in the labor force rose by 5,500 in October alone. It’s clear people are still moving here for the jobs – whether in our booming aerospace or ever-growing tech industries. With an influx of workers, employers are tasked with developing new ways to acquire and retain talent.
One of the primary ways a company can stand out among other employers is by offering a host of health benefits – but it’s more than just offering low-cost dental, vision and generic health benefits. It’s about providing balance with these offerings.
For employers seeking the cream of the crop of employees, consider bringing health care (the doctor, nurse, nutritionist and mental healthy provider) to your employees with onsite health clinics.
An onsite health clinic offers basic care for minor illnesses, annual physicals, routine blood work and flu shots among other services at your place of business. It provides employees with timely preventive care and helps avoid having to take time away from work to have basic health needs met – this is imperative for employees searching for a company that touts work-life integration as a benefit.
In some cases, these onsite clinics have proven to decrease urgent care and emergency room visits for employees – which is tremendously impactful given the spiraling costs of emergency and hospital care, which have increased 76 percent here in Colorado.
Onsite clinics are more common today than ever: A recent survey found that 29 percent of organizations with 5,000 or more employees offered worksite clinics, up from 24 percent in 2013. These clinics can range from simple set-ups to fully staffed operations that provide urgent-care services. These are viewed by most employers as a way to better manage health-care costs.
While a good value proposition for larger companies, smaller businesses may balk at the cost of setting up onsite clinics. For such business, which make up nearly half Colorado’s workforce, an onsite virtual care room may be the answer.
An onsite virtual care room leverages the convenience of telehealth to provide many of the amenities of an onsite clinic. The room can give employees instant virtual access to a physician or care provider—again, without having to leave work. Employees interface with health-care providers using a computer which can facilitate secure video, voice or text-based communication. Additionally, simple biometric devices in the room such as thermometers, blood pressure cuffs and pulse oximeters can augment the interaction by giving the provider more information on which to base their recommendations.
The idea is that an employee can use the room to conduct a routine visit with a care provider — even measuring vital signs in the process. At the same time, physicians can give advice and order additional testing, medications and referrals as necessary, maintaining the continuity of care in the most convenient way for the employee.
While these rooms are not widely available, finding a health care provider that offers this kind of service can help set your business apart.
As demand for the convenience of telehealth grows, and evidence mounts for the cost savings provided by such services, it seems likely that services such as virtual onsite clinics will become the norm in small businesses.
While these onsite virtual services are not meant to replace face-to-face visits and the relationship patients have with their primary care physicians, the goal is to provide members with a wide array of choices to receive their care in the most convenient and cost-effective manner—one that still provides the highest quality of care for patients and provides employers with an effective tool for talent acquisition and retention.
Pierre Onda, MD is the medical director of employer services and product development at Kaiser Permanente Colorado. Onda is also an internal medicine physician with the Colorado Permanente Medical Group which serves the more than 650,000 members of Kaiser Permanente Colorado.