We all know that our current healthcare climate is difficult to navigate. However, it isn’t just challenging for patients — it’s challenging for employers and providers, too. No one is getting the value they should be getting out of their healthcare programs. Last week, I discussed ways to increase that value in my “Creating Highly Engaging Healthcare Programs” webinar. If you missed it, read on for three key takeaways.
1. It’s personal touch — not necessarily the channel — that drives employee engagement.
Often, when employees aren’t engaging with a healthcare program, our instinct is to throw more features at it, thinking that offering more ways to engage will get them involved. However, that’s not necessarily the answer. Rather, it’s often the personal touch that drives engagement, and primary care is a great way to deliver that. Whether it’s from a primary care provider (PCP), someone at the front desk of the doctor’s office, or even over the phone, well-designed, personal conversations drive better health.
And while it is that personal touch that drives engagement, having a choice of how to engage helps to drive usage. People want to interact on their own terms, so give them options. But remember — everyone thinks an app is the fix, but in reality, the ongoing connections are.
2. Sustained engagement drives health outcomes, and digital technology enables more frequent patient-provider interaction.
Another reason for engaging employees across multiple platforms: sustained engagement is associated with better health improvement outcomes. More engagement is better than less, and digital technology is a great way to create additional touch points with patients. In one study, individuals who engaged over a larger number of months showed 15 to 30 percent greater odds of achieving weight loss — and the same pattern repeated with blood pressure, non-HDL cholesterol, healthier nutrition, and increased physical activity. Doing anything is better than nothing. Doing more is even better.
3. Providers and employers can drive change together.
Having the right resource and having a trusted conversation makes all the difference when it comes to health. That’s where primary care bridges gaps — it’s there when patient needs it, gives the time and attention patients need, builds trust, and drives effective and efficient downstream care. Trusted providers can improve health management efforts by two to three times!
But how do you know if your employees are receiving the right care? Look for these five attributes in a primary care practice: coordinated, highly accessible, patient-centered, comprehensive, and conservative. The right care and engagement drives healthy habits, improves health outcomes, and lowers cost — and helps keep workers at work where you need them.
The One Medical blog is published by One Medical, an innovative primary care practice with offices in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Washington, DC.
Any general advice posted on our blog, website, or app is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace or substitute for any medical or other advice. The One Medical Group entities and 1Life Healthcare, Inc. make no representations or warranties and expressly disclaim any and all liability concerning any treatment, action by, or effect on any person following the general information offered or provided within or through the blog, website, or app. If you have specific concerns or a situation arises in which you require medical advice, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified medical services provider.