Population health programs need to evolve with consumers

The importance of consumer experience and engagement has significantly evolved over the years to be a crucial aspect of the healthcare industry. It is now necessary to engage members at multiple stages of care, not just when they are sick. Read on to learn about the most important times to contact patients through automated outreach for an effective health program.
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Automated outreach

We’re constantly connected. We expect a text if our checking account gets low, an email if the book we ordered has shipped and a push notification through our mobile app if our flight is changed.

And just as we expect automated outreach from banks, airlines and other companies, we now expect reminders and guidance from healthcare organizations that have an interest in our well-being.

At the same time, the healthcare industry is undergoing a massive paradigm shift. In years past, healthcare organizations were focused on single episodes of care. A patient reported a pain or illness, and they would receive treatment.

Today, it is no longer enough to engage members only when they’re sick. Today healthcare organizations must focus on keeping members well through population health management and programs that enable prevention, deliver help for the chronically ill, and support outpatient care over the long term.

It’s at the nexus of these two trends that we can take a significant leap forward, and provide automated member outreach to scale critical population health programs beyond those that care managers and health coaches can reach.  We can enable these skilled, valuable resources to focus on the highest-risk cases – presenting significant potential value to the industry.

Having just recently attended the AHIP Institute in Seattle, it’s also striking how much the content has evolved over the past several years.  Where they were once rare, sessions on consumer experience, engagement and centricity are prevalent.  And perhaps just as significant are the similarities in exhibit floor messaging between that conference and HIMSS back in February. Worlds are both colliding and expanding, and simple automation is one way to meet those challenges.

Technology driving four stages of population health

In our work with three of the four largest population health companies, we’ve found that the most effective population health programs leverage automated outreach to proactively engage with members during the following stages of care:

  • Reach and Enroll – Initial outreach to engage and recruit members into appropriate health management programs
  • Assess Risk and Parameters – Determination of a member’s health risk and treatment knowledge, as well as of monitoring clinical parameters
  • Engage and Address Gaps – Proactive efforts to help members reduce future      complications by changing behavior or better managing chronic conditions
  • Drive Education and Adherence – Inform and help members adhere to programs and avoid developing more serious conditions

Over the coming weeks, I’ll be providing a few best practices for each of these stages.  Some are quite basic, such as tracking and connecting through your members’ preferred channels, while others are suggestions for how you can take your automated programs to the “next level,” like asymmetric calling cycles. In the meantime, read this new guide, Scaling Population Health Programs with Automation, that provides step-by-step guidance on this important topic.

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Automated outreach
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Vance Clipson

About Vance Clipson

Vance Clipson, senior principal, healthcare solutions for Nuance Outbound, brings more than 20 years of experience translating healthcare industry needs and data into market strategy and programs. Prior to joining Varolii, Clipson held marketing and sales positions for companies such as Milliman Care Guidelines and PacifiCare Health Systems. Clipson holds a MBA with Honors from the University of Notre Dame and a BA from the University of Washington.