Canadian HR Reporter

April 2020 CAN

Canadian HR Reporter is the national journal of human resource management. It features the latest workplace news, HR best practices, employment law commentary and tools and tips for employers to get the most out of their workforce.

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Page 2 of 31 3 innovations, the most common concern is a lack of human attention (44 per cent) followed by "I don't see a personal need" (41 per cent), "I don't trust their data privacy or security" (40 per cent), "I don't trust health-care computerized algorithms" (40 per cent) and "I'm satisfied with the health-care services that I have" (29 per cent), found Mercer. For employers, the most common reasons are: difficulty in quantifying the cost benefit (50 per cent), complexity of administration (40 per cent), more important priorities (40 per cent), data privacy and security risks (40 per cent) and the complexity of analyzing the options (35 per cent). But Samsung is confident of the quality and continuity of care provided, says Prencipe. "Dialogue is very thorough in their interactions with employees and conduct employees and, equally importantly, about the family members of those employees," he says. "Many of these employers are actually calling this out in their job descriptions, for example. So they might say, 'Get a competitive salary, greater benefits and access to a telemedicine service.'" A recent survey by RBC Insurance also found that almost three-quarters (72 per cent) of working Canadians would perceive their employer in a more positive light if virtual care or telemedicine was part of the benefits package. For CAA, the virtual care benefit — offered through a joint partnership with telemedicine platform Maple and Morneau Shepell — is not necessarily a measurable benefit when it comes to the overall value proposition, says Notarfonzo. "If we measure intermittent absences, probably over the span of a year, we' ll make up that money very quickly. Because for someone to have to go and make an appointment and go and see their physician, it's at least a half a day, if not a full day," she says. "Wellness, overall, is very important to CAA. It's a huge part of our culture, ties into our attraction and retention strategy... You've got to look at the future and think about the cost — will the recovery of the costs show up in other ways? I have no doubt that we'll be able to measure this and the ROI on this program within a year." Potential downsides Despite the potential benefits, virtual care has its doubters. Among workers who are not willing to try digital health extensive followup with anyone that uses the service. Of the employees that have used Dialogue, we have received a high 88-per-cent satisfaction score." When it comes to quality of care, Dialogue has been selective in the people it hires to join its team, says Brown. "Even though there aren't millions of physicians in Canada, we're still very selective in the way in which we bring people onto our team... And baked into our product is a focus on continuity of care. So, for us, we're absolutely not in the business of providing transactional virtual care consults." Maple also has a very robust physician screening program, says Prada. "We do a review of medical training; there's an inter view between the physician and our medical team. We also make sure that they are put through… a virtual care training program… because physicians aren't taught how to do virtual care. So, we wanted to make sure that we're equipping them with the right tools and tips and tricks and practices for shifting care into a virtual environment." Any concern about the risks of being an employer providing this service is minimal, says Notarfonzo, based on the ailments or conditions that are being shared by employees. "For someone that is very ill, they will not receive that kind of help here, they need specialization and that's not what this virtual care program is set up to be." Quality, continuity concerns Discussions with various stakeholders have found that, although patients, families and caregivers are excited RETENTION BENEFITS OF VIRTUAL CARE "If we measure intermittent absences over the span of a year, we'll make up that money very quickly." Mara Notarfonzo, CAA Club Group about virtual care and the potential for it to improve access and deliver more timely care, they did not want to lose that human connection, says Gigi Osler, past president of the Canadian Medical Association in Winnipeg. "Canadians see the benefit of it, but also they don't want their health-care providers replaced by AI or technology." There's also a preference for virtual care to be delivered within an established physician-patient relationship or health service, she says. Maple has always said this service should never replace a family physician relationship, says Prada. "We're huge proponents of that. This is meant to give you access to a doctor in those moments where you don't have access, and you'd be going to the emergency room or a walk-in clinic where, arguably, care is a little more fragmented and disjointed in those environments." Would virtual care make you see your employer in a more positive light? 72% of working Canadians 78% of workers aged 18 to 34 60% of workers aged 55 and older Source: RBC Insurance The Samsung offices in Mississauga, Ont.

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