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How Virtual Dietitians Help Employee Health

How Virtual Dietitians Help Employee Health

By The Numbers: Does Virtual Counseling Work?

Although over 20 years old, virtual counseling is relatively new when compared to traditional health counseling. For employers, measuring the success rate and benefits of digital counseling depends on subjective feedback from employees as well as cost-analyst by benefits administrators.

  • 21% of patients who have used telemedicine services say the quality of care was similar to or higher than an in-person visit. – Software Advice
  • A study of the outcomes of care for 8,000 patients who used telemedicine services found no difference between a virtual appointment and an in-person office visit. – C2 Solutions
  • US employers could save up to $6 billion per year by providing telemedicine technologies to their employees. – American Hospital Association

Best Practices for Virtual Health and Wellness Counseling

Virtual counseling is becoming increasingly commonplace and is developing a track record for what works, and what doesn’t.

1. Equipment

A good digital connection between the individual and the counselor is important for successful virtual coaching. Technology has advanced to the point where many employees and companies have higher-quality video equipment, smartphones, and faster internet connections than ever before.

For some types of health and wellness counseling, video conferencing is preferable to telephone sessions because the coach and client can have eye-to-eye contact and the counselor is able to see the client how responds and engage with body language and verbal cues, which can be very important for addressing many physical and emotional health issues. Video conferencing also offers the option of being able to share your screen to provide education handouts and drawings that can enhance learning.

2. Confidentiality

Client confidentiality and privacy is a critical issue for both in-person and virtual counseling. Employees want to be assured that counseling sessions are secure, respect their privacy, and follow privacy laws. Services such as VSee and Doxy.me video conferencing offer secure telehealth software solutions.

3. Informed Consent

Virtual counselors should get informed consent from all e-clients, just as they would in person. The same ethical codes for counselors apply to virtual sessions as in-office sessions. Workplaces that provide virtual health and wellness coaching should follow the same guidelines in sourcing and recommending health and wellness virtual coaches for their employees.

Virtual health, nutrition, and wellness coaching combined with workplace wellness programs is the ultimate win/win for employees and companies. Increased productivity and reduced benefits costs can be achieved by a happier, healthier workforce that has their health and nutrition needs addressed in a timely, supportive environment. As a Registered Dietitian for close to 20 years, online nutrition course facilitator, and workplace wellness and productivity expert, I’ve seen first-hand the difference nutrition can make. The experienced dietitian team in our practice can tell you in person, by phone, or via videoconferencing, which are all effective ways to counsel our clients on weight concerns, meal planning for home/travel/shift work, heart health, digestion issues, diabetes, and more.

Virtual health and wellness nutrition counseling is an important tool that can truly benefit the physical and mental health of your employees.

PS – Want to determine how your workplace rates with nutrition?  Take our Workplace Nutrition Scorecard  https://www.healthstandnutrition.com/workplacescorecard/

Sign up for my quarterly corporate wellness newsletter loaded with practical nutrition tips, articles, and recipes for a healthy workplace here:  EnerTHRIVE! Workplace Nutrition Newsletter