In today’s hectic world, capturing people’s attention can be challenging. And when it comes to their health, it’s more difficult than ever. According to a study from Carnegie Mellon University, many people deliberately avoid information (such as health or medical results) that could threaten their happiness. Despite these challenges, with digital health tools you can drive successful and effective member engagement programs.
Here are 3 ways to get the most of your digital health program:
- Create Incentives that Engage Members to Participate
Like any goal – personal or professional – it’s always nice to know there’s a reward waiting for you at the end of the road. Offering customized challenges and short- and long-term rewards can be highly effective in getting members excited about participating in wellness programs and ensuring the best outcomes.
Let’s say as part of a diabetes management initiative, you want to reward healthy behaviors like swapping sugary drinks and snacks with healthier options or meeting a specific weight or fitness target. Offer your members with diabetes access to integrated digital tools, such as a personal health portal and glucose monitor, so they can automatically record and track how lifestyle patterns or changes in behavior affect their glucose levels, and simultaneously earn points that can be redeemed for rewards (such as an Amazon gift card). The main purpose of member engagement is to encourage people to achieve small yet meaningful health milestones that add up to long-lasting behavior change.
- Adapt Your User Experience to Maximize Member Engagement
With a member population spanning various ages, education levels, and demographics, it’s important that health portals are user-friendly and easy to navigate. It’s common for less “tech savvy” members to feel overwhelmed with online programs and, as a result, they’re less likely to engage. Conversely, if your interface is outdated and not mobile-optimized, you’ll likely lose the attention of younger members—a key demographic.
In order to maximize member engagement across populations with varying needs, organizations should equip individuals with easy access to content, tools, and resources that support wellness improvement, condition onset education, and chronic disease management support. Further, members should have the ability to take action at the push of a button. The most effective health portals provide users the opportunity to connect with a healthcare professional via multiple communication channels. This way, they can connect via their preferred method, whether it’s by phone, chat, or secure messaging at any given time.
- Personalize Content of Your Digital Health Program
Another element of effective and ongoing member engagement is delivering individualized content, tools, and resources that are relevant to and convenient for each individual.
Using Health Dialog’s proprietary analytics, we stratify populations into 9 clinical risk stages (well, at risk, onset, critical, etc.) and tailor clinical tools and resources to address each member’s unique needs and goals based on where they are in their health journey. Content and programming is further curated based on the individual’s health risk assessment responses, personal preferences, behavior patterns, past success, and readiness to change.
Wellness isn’t a one step process and can’t be achieved with a one-size-fits-all approach. Make sure you have the technology in place to successfully connect members to the health resources and support they need most, and serve it up in a timely manner to improve engagement. For example, if someone recently diagnosed with knee pain is provided with material on treatment options, such as stretching exercises that can reduce knee pain, that person is likely to be engaged and find the information relevant and useful. Putting the building blocks in place today will help create a healthier population for years to come.
To learn more about how you can help your members get in touch with their health, download our infographic on the top 5 factors organizations need to consider when tapping into the power of digital engagement to reach their populations.
This post, originally published on September 12, 2017 has been updated.