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Published on August 31, 2020

5 Ways Employee Health Programs Help Teams Thrive in a COVID World

5 Ways Employee Health Programs Help Teams Thrive in a COVID World

Everything about how we work and live has changed during COVID-19, including how employers approach employee health. Whether your company has had an occupational health or wellness program for years, or the pandemic has forced you to rethink health in the workplace, there are a number of ways employee health and wellness programs can help your team survive — and even thrive — this fall and in 2021.

1. Virtual Options

Employee and occupational health providers often have the capability to offer some virtual or telephone services, such as workers’ compensation follow-up appointments for minor injuries, guidance for the management of chronic diseases, or wellness programs. These options allow your employees to receive safe, effective care from the convenience of their home or office.

2.Stress Management

Many employees are working from home for the first time, adding to the social isolation caused by the pandemic. Some of your team members may be managing extra responsibilities, such as helping children with online school lessons or running errands for senior parents. With stress levels at an all-time high, offering virtual counseling services for employees can improve mental health, reduce absenteeism, and boost productivity.

Many Triad companies contract with Cone Health Employee Assistance Counseling Program to offer employees free counseling services. Experienced and certified counselors are available for virtual, confidential counseling around a variety of issues, including general stress, relationship counseling, family counseling, grief, depression, and more.

Health professionals can also offer virtual learning sessions with stress management tips for employees.

3.COVID Screening, Surveillance, and Testing Referrals

Manufacturing facilities, retail establishments, restaurants, and other organizations that depend on in-person operations have had to quickly put together plans for COVID-19 prevention and steps to take in the event an employee or employee’s family member is diagnosed with coronavirus.

Companies who contract to have health services on-site can often benefit from occupational health nurses assisting with COVID screening questionnaires. In addition, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and doctors with occupational health programs can often provide telephone consultations for those with COVID-19 symptoms or exposure, refer an employee for testing if needed, and perform virtual screenings to determine if it is safe for an employee to return to work.

At Cone Health Employee Health and Wellness, no-cost return-to-work telephone screenings have been popular with area companies who need to evaluate the safety of an employee coming back to the workplace.

Employers are also able to refer symptomatic and asymptomatic employees and those with suspected exposure to COVID-19 for testing. There is a  nominal administrative fee for this service, and the cost of a COVID-19 test is typically covered by most insurance plans.

4.Online Wellness and Fitness Classes

Preventing health issues is one of the easiest ways to lower your company’s health care costs.

Classes that cover topics such as healthy eating and cooking, or tips for managing blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol can help employees gain the resources they need to say healthy.

Consider having a health professional conduct classes via an online platform that allows for discussion and questions.

If you have traditionally offered discounts or reimbursements for gym memberships, explore providing access or reimbursements for on-demand and streaming video workouts.

5.Strong Support for Managing Chronic Conditions

The reduced activity that comes with gym closings and social distancing, as well as increased stress, can worsen health conditions like Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol.

In addition to providing programs that promote physical wellness and mental health, employees may also be in need of condition-specific management programs that offer remote support. 

Ready to Learn More?

To explore how Cone Health Employee Health & Wellness can help your company with these services or other occupational health needs, contact Jacqueline Heyward at 336-832-7315 or jacqueline.heyward@conehealth.com.