UMMC, BankPlus partnership brings telehealth to workplace
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Photos of UMMC's Center for Telehealth can be found here.
JACKSON, Miss. – In keeping with its mission to promote a healthier state, the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s Center for Telehealth partnered with Gov. Phil Bryant and the Mississippi Development Authority to announce a corporate telehealth program that is bringing health-care providers to the workplace – virtually.
One of the marquee companies participating in the program, BankPlus has made the program available to all 725 employees at 60 of the company’s locations. Starting the fourth week in operation, the program has already treated nearly 50 patients.
The company announced their participation and early results from their corporate offices in Ridgeland on Tuesday.
“For the last decade, BankPlus has focused a tremendous amount of resources towards the overall health and wellness of our employees and their families,” said Bill Ray, president and CEO of BankPlus. “Historically, we have always embraced emerging technology, not only in our products and services, but internally as well. Telehealth allows us the opportunity to bring these two passions together, while saving our employees time and money.”
Telehealth in the workplace allows real-time, same-day virtual appointments for employees, and helps employers contain cost by reducing expensive trips to the emergency room and increasing employee productivity.
The average person will consult a doctor for the following symptoms at least three times a year: cold and flu, allergies, pink eye, ear infection, poison ivy, respiratory infection and sinus problems. A telehealth model in the workplace puts a stop to unnecessary and expensive medical visits, according to Dr. Kristi Henderson, UMMC’s chief telehealth and innovation officer
“UMMC recognizes the challenge for employees to find time to get health care and to stay healthy so we started our Corporate Telehealth program to make it easier,” said Henderson. “Our program provides convenient and accessible health care services to employees in the workplace. A healthier workforce creates a healthier company.”
Employees needing health-care consults connect to the UMMC Telehealth Clinic by entering a virtual waiting room on a computer or device in the workplace.
Then the UMMC health provider and employee interact in a live video session to assess and diagnose the employee’s condition. A treatment plan is created and prescriptions are e-prescribed for same-day pick-up at a local pharmacy.
The UMMC Corporate Telehealth program launched in May 2014. With eight corporations currently enrolled, health care in the workplace is currently available to more than 2,600 employees across the state with plans to expand to 3,500 employees by January.
More than 15 percent of employees at each of the participating corporations use the telehealth program at work, with those numbers increasing.
According to the patients’ eVisit satisfaction rankings:
- 97 percent were satisfied with their telemedicine visit
- 100 percent said they would use this service again
- 97 percent said they felt comfortable discussing their medical issues with the provider
- 97 percent said they could clearly hear and understand the provider
- 97 percent said they were satisfied with the length of time between scheduling the visit and seeing the provider
- 79 percent said they would have likely missed work to seek medical attention if telemedicine wasn’t available