October 31 2018 | 0 Comments | 42 reads Average Rating: 3

5 Engagement Strategies to Drive Improved Health & Reduced Costs

by Donna DuLong and Gerald Osband, MD in Population Health

Healthcare consumers are far more efficient and effective with their healthcare spend if they are engaged in their own health and seek to properly manage and improve health outcomes.

The challenge for healthcare organizations? Having a comprehensive view of each patient/member is a foundational challenge of healthcare organizations that makes it nearly impossible to make informed decisions about how to best engage with them to drive outcomes. Here are five strategies that can help:

1: Understand patients from all angles. Healthcare organizations need to arrive at a 360-degree view of consumers in order to better grasp the factors that will drive engagement. To move in this direction, organizations need to access and analyze data on topics such as:

  • Health determinants such as age and health conditions
  • Social determinants such as education, income and zip code
  • Behavioral determinants including beliefs, behaviors and attitudes on healthy food/diet; following prescribed treatment plans; and exercising

2: Look beyond the usual suspects for information. To fill all of these data buckets, healthcare organizations need to go beyond what is ordinarily found in claims and traditional clinical data. In fact, they should strive to bring in social determinants of health data and consumer data from a variety of sources including connected fitness trackers, digital scales, blood pressure monitors and glucometers.

3: Develop detailed patient profiles. Bringing in the right, meaningful data enables healthcare organizations to build a robust view of each member. An organization could consider the following data about a diabetic patient before implementing a care management intervention:

Health determinants

  • Female
  • 40 years old
  • Diabetes
  • Unfilled prescription medication
  • Gaps in care including HbA1c test and eye exam

Social determinants

  • Income: $25,000 per year
  • Zip code: 44444
  • Very limited access to healthy foods
  • High internet utilizer

Behavioral determinants

  • Undervalued attitude of healthy diets
  • Frequent visits to fast food restaurants
  • No weekly exercise

Based on known attributes and behaviors of a member, care teams can utilize the most preferred communication channels and design programs that speak to the needs of the member.

4: Leverage advanced predictive & prescriptive analytics. Augmenting a robust data approach with advanced analytics enables healthcare organizations to more precisely identify opportunities to intervene with patients/members today, as well as mitigate future risks with predictive insights.

5: Implement customized engagement initiatives. With this information in hand, organizations can develop patient specific interventions. For example, to meet the specific needs of the afore-mentioned diabetic patient, the organization might choose to implement a text message communication campaign (based on known preferred channel of communication) that promotes:

  • Value and impact of healthy eating on diabetic patients
  • Alternative methods to fill prescriptions
  • Affordable food options
  • Discounts on gym memberships or web-based health programs
  • Local walking trails

This very specific intervention is likely to result in increased patient engagement – and subsequently improved care and reduced costs.

Want to learn more about the in-and-outs of patient engagement as a means to reach strategic goals? Tune in to our webinar entitled Analytics Driven Engagement Strategies as a Catalyst for Value-based Transformation at https://www.sciohealthanalytics.com/analytics-driven-engagement-strategies-as-a-catalyst-for-value-based-transformation.

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Author
Donna DuLong
Senior Consultant

Donna Dulong is a senior healthcare consultant with extensive clinical operations, business development, and informatics expertise.

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Author
Gerald Osband, MD
Chief Medical Officer, EXL Services

Gerald Osband was the Chief Medical Officer for EXL and was responsible for architecting, articulating and operationalizing clinical strategies across decision based analytics, global capacity management and platform technologies.

Read full profile and other posts |

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