It wasn’t just the pandemic that made employee health management a top priority for those in the first response and healthcare industries. A healthy workforce has always been an essential part of running a business—whatever that business may be. And in patient-facing operations where poor employee health can have a direct and negative impact on care, it’s even more important to maintain clear expectations and a reliable way to track and manage the health of workers.
We’re only a few months into the new year, but already there are some clear predictions that we’re able to make about employee health management in 2022 and beyond. Here’s what to know—and why it matters.
What is employee health?
When we talk about employee health, we’re talking about all of the various factors that impact an individual team member’s well-being, both on a personal level and as it relates to their ability to do their job. This includes mental health in addition to physical health, as well as facility-mandated requirements around injury tracking, health screenings, and vaccinations.
Whether for profit or not, organizations involved in healthcare and first response invest a lot in health benefits for employees. Many also invest in safety and wellness initiatives that are designed to help employees stay healthy, present, and productive. These concerns are key for providing the highest level of care. They’re also cost effective: in 2019, employers spent $525 billion on illness-related lost productivity and workers incurred a combined 1.5 billion days of illness-related absence. Simply put, poor employee health is bad for business, and employers have a lot to gain from making it a priority (and a lot to lose if they don’t).
Helping employees stay health positive in 2022
There’s no doubt that the conversation around employee health has changed a bit in the past couple of years. We like to think that’s a good thing though, with organizations taking more action toward helping their workforce stay physically and mentally well. So what’s leading the dialogue around employee health management in 2022? Here are some of the top trends.
Vaccine tracker implementations
Many organizations have adopted comprehensive vaccine tracking practices that help monitor and encourage employee vaccine compliance. This applies to the COVID-19 vaccine, but also to other routine vaccines that are integral to overall health, such as the yearly flu shot. Crucial to these efforts is the use of employee health software as a digital vaccine tracker, allowing for more efficient monitoring and the ability to quickly pivot if and when vaccine guidelines change.
Preventative health care
It’s both cheaper and more effective to keep people from getting sick than to deal with the consequences when they do. With that goal in mind, organizations are investing more in preventative health care, as well as in wellness programs and work-life balance initiatives that keep health management front and center.
Focus on mental health
Poor mental health can be just as detrimental as poor physical health, and businesses have increasingly taken note. We’re seeing a lot more effort being put into helping employees manage stress and anxiety, with steps taken to reduce burnout, improve management practices, and create more positive work environments—all in the name of better mental wellness.
Employee assistance programs
“We’re all in this together” may have become an overused trope of the pandemic, but it’s an undeniable truth in terms of workforce health. Organizations have stepped up to the plate when it comes to employee assistance programs that provide on-the-ground support for team members in need, with programs in place for helping employees access care and services related to their mental and physical health needs. This includes post-injury and illness support, plus help finding healthcare specialists, lawyers, and other professionals based on the needs of the situation.
Increased telehealth work opportunities
Telehealth has become a mainstay practice during the pandemic, and it’s likely to stick around long after it clears. Increased telehealth opportunities improve access to care for patients and help relieve the burden of many workers. They also make it easier for employees to stay home when they need to without having to sacrifice on their ability to get things done.
These trends represent a new—and better—approach to managing employee health. And while all organizations will take a unique approach to their practices, there’s an increased need for electronic health records software that can help employee health departments stay on track with their objectives. At Immuware, we’ve designed scalable employee health software solutions that take the guesswork out of tracking, monitoring, and compliance. Learn more, and get in touch today for a demo.