COVID Has Caused Many to Skip Their Regular Appointments. How Can You Help?

According to the CDC and other studies, COVID-19 has drastically impacted individuals’ regularly scheduled healthcare appointments. This includes annual physical exams, preventative care screenings and care for chronic diseases for individuals  and their children. This has been driven by people’s reluctance to engage in healthcare settings due to risk of COVID exposure and also the strain put on the healthcare system through the pandemic.

Preventative care for both adults and children is critical for early detection of diseases and disabilities. This includes annual physical health screenings, mental health screenings, routine dentist appointments, cancer screenings and pap smears. Regular check-ups can proactively detect diseases or health concerns as well as improve quality of life, increase lifespan and reduce healthcare costs.

Your organization can help encourage people to re-engage with their regularly scheduled health care appointments through a variety of methods. 

Below are 5 tips for boosting a prevention-oriented mindset within your organization:
  • 1.  Remind Employees of Their Benefits

    Remind your team what their benefits include, particularly around preventative care. If your insurance covers annual physicals and other preventative care, share with them that prioritizing their health will not cost them in their pocket book, but may cost them in their long-term wellness.

  • 2.  Allow for Flexibility to Attend Doctor’s Appointments

    If your company is able, allow for flexibility for employees to attend appointments. Using PTO for these appointments can be a barrier to scheduling appointments. Additionally, for many people, the last two years have forced them to use PTO in unexpected ways (childcare, sickness), so they may not be willing to use it for their personal health needs.

  • 3.  Talk Openly About the Importance of Screenings

    Health literacy is critical when it comes to helping people understand their own health. Help your employees understand why screenings are important and remind them of their recommended screenings based on age and risk. 

  • 4.  Host Your Own Screening

    Your employees are busy so finding time to fit in a health screening might be low on the list. Consider lowering barriers by hosting your own wellness screening on-site and allow employees to sign up for a spot ahead of time. It doesn’t get more convenient than that!

  • 5.  Incentivize Preventative Care

    Consider how you want to encourage participation in preventative screenings through incentives. Motivation can come in the form of money, gift cards or other motivation options based on your company’s culture.

By demonstrating that healthcare is a priority for your company and are able to see the real value, employees will likely take more preventative measures and maintain regular care for any chronic diseases. As an organization leader, you have the opportunity to model and communicate your own emphasis on health and preventative care so that your employees feel comfortable doing the same.

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