November 26th, 2014

SMBailey_HeadshotHelping people be healthy is our motto. Every day we imagine, design and build technology to help our clients provide an engaging environment to foster better health, and we couldn’t do it without the wealth of industry knowledge and experience of our RedBrick Health employees.

One such distinguished personality is Susan Bailey, Director of Client Services. While often seen in our Minneapolis headquarters, Bailey is based in Michigan and provides strategic consultation for both RedBrick Health clients and the non-profit Michigan Wellness Council. In 2015-2016, she will lead the board as Michigan Wellness Council Chair.

The Michigan Wellness Council partners with local employers and the state to bring successful wellness best practices to the workplace, operating as a hub of quality resources and forums. Bailey has been working with the Michigan Wellness Council in a variety of roles for eight years, and is excited to start her first two-year term as Chair.

Congratulations, Susan! We’re excited here at RedBrick Health to see your next steps as a leader in the health and wellness industry.

Learn more about the Michigan Wellness Council here.

CMYK MWC logo

No Comments

At RedBrick Health we work every day to help people be a little bit healthier than they were yesterday. That work doesn’t stop with our clients and partners – it’s something we strive to include in our own offices, communities and lives.

“For me, helping people be healthy is much more than a job; it’s a lifestyle,” said Joe Garrison, our Southwest regional sales leader. “I believe in what we do at RedBrick Health and I’m striving to lead by example.”

Garrison, who is based in California, has been working with RedBrick since 2010, and he’s been doing triathlons for just as long. This summer he completed eight Olympic distance triathlons and a half-IRONMAN in preparation for his first full IRONMAN in November.

An IRONMAN is the ultimate triathlon, composed of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a 26.2-mile run. Garrison will be racing at the Tempe, Arizona course, known as the premier mainland race due to atmosphere, surrounding events and strong IRONMAN tradition.

RedBrick will be matching Garrison’s entry fee dollar amount with a donation to the IRONMAN Foundation. The Foundation has supported global, national and local charities with $18 million in grants and donations since 2003.

We’re very excited to support Garrison in his first IRONMAN race, his donation to the IRONMAN Foundation and his efforts to be healthier every day and inspire others to do the same. Good luck in Tempe, Joe!

IMG_0804
IMG_0805

Contact Joe Garrison to contribute to his IRONMAN Foundation donation at jgarrison@redbrickhealth.com

No Comments

October 17th, 2014

Kurt_Cegielski

Kurt Cegielski, Thought Leadership Series host and moderator

On Wednesday, October 8th, RedBrick Health hosted almost 50 health and wellness leaders from Minnesota’s largest employers, consultant groups and other influencing organizations. We invited these movers and shakers to a panel discussion focused on the key drivers of health engagement in a rapidly changing healthcare environment.

We were pleased to present four panelists with distinct industry perspectives about what health engagement means:

·        Ken Paulus, CEO at Allina Health, provider lens

·        John Naylor, Commercial Market SVP at Medica, payer lens

·        Jeni McGill, from the benefits team at Cargill, employer lens

·        Sean Wieland, a Piper Jaffrey senior analyst, industry lens

Each panel member introduced their organization and background, provided insight into what health engagement means for them and described the unique and active initiatives they are pursuing to improve health, contain costs and stay relevant. As host and moderator, I had the pleasure of taking the panelists and audience through a series of questions that inspired exchanges around the room. We look forward to providing you key insights, audio and video from the event in the coming weeks.

As a part of the event, we hosted a social hour at RedBrick Health headquarters, where we were able to connect with customers, meet new contacts and tally the number of steps taken with our attendees’ new FitBit® devices. A huge thank you to President and CEO of YMCA of the Twin Cities Glen Gunderson, who was on hand to receive our donation based on the millions of steps attendees took from registration to reception!

Feedback from our attendees has been positive, fueling several requests to host more events going forward. We’re looking at making our Thought Leadership Series a regular event, perhaps coming to a city near you.

A sincere thank you to our distinguished panelists and all of our sharp and focused attendees for making this event such a success.

Healthy regards!

Kurt Cegielski, Founder and SVP of Employer Solutions at RedBrick Health

Downstairs-Mingling_01 Kurt-OOF upstairs-welcome-table_03 Dan-Ryan_01

No Comments
Robert B. Cialdini, Ph. D.

Robert B. Cialdini, Ph. D.

 

 

Robert B. Cialdini, Ph. D. presented at the RedBrick Health Client Summit last April, where he spoke on effective and persuasive communication in an uncertain health care environment. He is collaborating with RedBrick again to share insights from his new book The small BIG: Small Changes that Spark Big Influence in a two-part series.

Find Part I here.

 

 

Persuasive efficiencies

Since the publication of my book, Influence, I’ve been asked to speak—in corporate training sessions, at large conferences, or in front of university classrooms—about these principles.  In the process, I’ve noticed something that captures audience attention to a remarkable degree (almost as much as if I’d mentioned sex):  If, when describing one or another of the principles, I say, “Now, I’m going to give you something small, really small, that you can do to make this principle work in your behalf,” the room changes visibly.  Bodies incline forward, faces lift to the stage, and pens poise over pads.

It’s understandable.  Audience members are responding to an attractive return-on-investment proposition; but, not in the traditional sense of a small financial outlay that leads to outsized financial profit.  Instead, they are responding to a desired kind of ROI that may be of greater value in their increasingly overloaded lives—a minor investment of time and effort that will lead to disproportionate returns.  In a world of time-challenged, hyper-busy, multi-tasking individuals, minor steps that generate big rewards are like found gold.

With this recognition in mind, a pair of colleagues and I have written a new book2 that identifies a set of 52 slight shifts in persuasive approach that can produce large payoffs.  In conversations with Red Brick personnel about the book, they suggested that I author a blog post for their clients that described a few such small changes and how they have been shown to play out in health contexts.  Space limitations prevent an exhaustive treatment, but let’s look at how just one of the six universal principles of social influence—Commitment/Consistency—can be activated to great effect via small changes in persuasive procedures.  What’s more, let’s look at how such changes can make a significant difference even within traditionally difficult to influence populations.

Healthcare-related examples

Patients who fail to appear for dental and medical appointments are more than an inconvenience; they represent a considerable expense to the healthcare system.  This has been especially the case in the United Kingdom because, since there is no financial cost to the patient for the appointment, there is no financial penalty for missing it.  A standard practice designed reduce these no-shows involves calling patients the day before to remind them of the appointment.  In a study conducted by one of my coauthors, the calls reduced failures to appear by 3.5% in British medical clinics.  But, the reminders required valuable resources (time and money) to deliver and didn’t always reach their targets.  Consider what happened when, instead, a minor and costless alteration of standard procedure—based on the Commitment/Consistency principle—was tested.  If, at the end of a prior appointment, the receptionist asked the patient to fill in the hour and date of the next appointment on the card (instead of filling in the information for the patient), the subsequent no-show rate dropped by 18%.  Why?  Because, as considerable research documents, people are more likely to hold true to their commitments the more actively and visibly they make those commitments.3

Whenever I speak to health management groups and ask the question, “Which people in the system are most difficult to influence?”, the answer is invariably, “Practitioners!”  This becomes genuinely problematic when certain procedural safeguards exist that are underemployed by physicians and nurses.  One such safeguard involves hand washing before each patient examination.  In a U.S. hospital, researchers varied the signage underneath the soap and gel dispensers in each examination room.  One sign (in the control condition) said, “Gel in, Wash out;” it had no effect on hand washing frequency.  A second sign raised the possibility of adverse personal consequences to the practitioners.  It said, “Hand hygiene prevents you from catching diseases;” it also had no measurable effect.  But, a third sign that said, “Hand hygiene prevents patients from catching diseases,” increased hand washing by 45%.  Why?  Because the sign reminded doctors and nurses of their professional commitment to their patients.  Notice that this small alteration of procedure didn’t even require that a strong commitment be generated (as in the no-show study).  All that was necessary, with the change of a single word, was to put the practitioners in mind of a strong commitment they had already made.4

If practitioners are typically difficult to influence, consider a much more resistant group within the healthcare system—drug users in the throes of withdrawal.  Could a small public commitment get these individuals to undertake desirable action?  One study of hospitalized opiate drug addicts indicated that the answer is not just “Yes” but “Clearly yes,” provided the commitment is specific enough.  As part of a treatment program, the addicts were urged to prepare an employment history by the end of the day to help them get a job after their release.  In addition, some were asked to commit to a specific plan for compiling the history, whereas others (in a control group) were not asked to do so.  A relevant such plan might be, “When lunch is over and space has become available at the lunchroom table, then I will start writing my employment history there.”  By day’s end, not one person in the control group had performed the task, which might not seem surprising—after all, these were drug addicts in the process of opiate withdrawal.  Yet at the end of the same day, 80% of those in the specific public commitment group had turned in a completed job résumé. 5

Conclusion  

It is heartening to recognize that behavioral science is able to offer health management professionals procedures for significantly advancing health-related outcomes.  Moreover, those advances can come from changes in practice that are virtually costless, entirely ethical, and empirically grounded.  Worth noting is that the effective changes described in this piece had not emerged naturally as best practices within the industry.  A partnership with behavioral science was necessary for their conception and successful test.  It’s a partnership that stands to be both socially responsible and highly productive well into the future.

 

Cialdini is an expert in persuasion, compliance and negotiation who has spent his career researching the science of influence. He is the New York Times Best Selling author of Influence, recommended as one of Fortune Magazine’s most important books for business. Influence has appeared on CEO Read’s 100 Best Business Books of All Time and Best Marketing Books of All Time lists and has been translated into over 26 languages. Find his newest book, The small BIG: Small Changes that Spark Big Influence, here.

Cialdini is the president of INFLUENCE AT WORK, a global training, consulting, and speaking company focusing on the successful and ethical uses of persuasion science for business. Find him on Twitter at: @RobertCialdini.

 

References

1 Cialdini, R. B. (2009).  Influence: Science and Practice (5th ed.).  Boston:  Allyn & Bacon.

2 Martin, S. J., Goldstein, N. J., & Cialdini, R. B. (2014). The small BIG: Small Changes that Spark Big Influence. New York: Grand Central Publishers [Also published in the UK by Profile Books, London.]

3Martin, S. J., Bassi, S., & Dunbar-Rees, R. (2012). Commitments, norms and custard creams—a social influence approach to reducing did not attends (DNAs).  Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 105, 101-104.

4Grant, A. M., & Hofmann, D. A. (2011). It’s not about me: Motivating hand hygiene among health care professionals by focusing on patients.  Psychological Science, 22, 1494-1499.

5 Brandstätter, V., Lengfelder, A., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2001). Implementation intentions and efficient action initiation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 946-960.

 

No Comments

Robert B. Cialdini, Ph. D. presented at the RedBrick Health Client Summit last April, where he spoke on effective and persuasive communication in an uncertain health care environment. He is collaborating with RedBrick again to share insights from his new book The small BIG: Small Changes that Spark Big Influence in a two-part series. Find Part II here

Cialdini is an expert in persuasion, compliance and negotiation who has spent his career researching the science of influence. He is the New York Times Best Selling author of Influence, recommended as one of Fortune Magazine’s most important books for business. Influence has appeared on CEO Read’s 100 Best Business Books of All Time and Best Marketing Books of All Time lists and has been translated into over 28 languages.

Alongside his career as author, Cialdini is the president of INFLUENCE AT WORK, a global training, consulting, and speaking company focusing on the successful and ethical uses of persuasion science for business.

Robert B. Cialdini, Ph. D.

Robert B. Ciadini, Ph. D.

 

A while ago I wrote a book1 with a provocative thesis:  Highly successful persuasive appeals can be understood in terms of a very limited number of principles of social influence—those that are so powerful that they generate desirable change in the broadest range of circumstances.  In the book, I sought to support my claim with scientific evidence demonstrating that a wide variety of communicators who incorporate one or another of these principles into a proposal or recommendation can expect significantly greater agreement as a result.  I counted only six such “universal” principles of influence.

 

 

  • Reciprocation.  People are more willing to comply with requests (for favors, services, information, concessions, etc.) from those who have provided such things first.  For example, according to the American Disabled Veterans organization, mailing out a simple appeal for donations produces an 18% success rate; but, enclosing a small gift—personalized address labels—boosts the success rate to 35%
  • Authority.  People are more willing to follow the advice of a communicator to whom they attribute relevant authority or expertise.  One study showed that 3 times as many pedestrians were willing to follow a man into traffic against the red light when he was merely dressed authoritatively in a business suit and tie.
  • Scarcity. People find objects and opportunities more attractive to the degree that they are scarce, rare, or dwindling in availability.  Even information that is scarce (i.e., exclusive) is more effective.  A beef importer in the US informed his customers (honestly) that, because of weather conditions in Australia, there was likely to be a shortage of Australian beef.  His orders more than doubled.  However, when he added (also honestly) that this information came from his company’s exclusive contacts in the Australian National Weather Service, orders increased by 600%!
  • Liking/Friendship.  People prefer to say yes to those they know and like.  For example, research done on Tupperware Home Demonstration parties shows that guests are 3 times more likely to purchase products because they like the party’s hostess than because they like the products.
  • Social Proof.  People are more willing to take a recommended action if they see evidence that many others, especially similar others, are taking it.  One researcher went door to door collecting for charity and carrying a list of others in the area who had already contributed.  The longer he made the list, the more contributions it produced.
  • Commitment/Consistency.  People are more willing to be moved in a particular direction if they see it as consistent with an existing or recent commitment.  This is especially so if the commitment is visibly made.  Students who signed an honesty pledge at the beginning of an exam were less like to cheat than those who signed one at the end.

 

In the next post, Cialdini provides a summary of how the principles discussed in his book, Influence, can be combined with the small-steps behavior change model – the subject of his newest book The small BIG: Small Changes that Spark Big Influence – to influence the health care industry. Find Part II here.

Find Cialdini on Twitter: @RobertCialdini.

 

References

1 Cialdini, R. B. (2009).  Influence: Science and Practice (5th ed.).  Boston:  Allyn & Bacon.

2 Martin, S. J., Goldstein, N. J., & Cialdini, R. B. (2014). The small BIG: Small Changes that Spark Big Influence. New York: Grand Central Publishers [Also published in the UK by Profile Books, London.]

3Martin, S. J., Bassi, S., & Dunbar-Rees, R. (2012). Commitments, norms and custard creams—a social influence approach to reducing did not attends (DNAs).  Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 105, 101-104.

4Grant, A. M., & Hofmann, D. A. (2011). It’s not about me: Motivating hand hygiene among health care professionals by focusing on patients.  Psychological Science, 22, 1494-1499.

5 Brandstätter, V., Lengfelder, A., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2001). Implementation intentions and efficient action initiation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 946-960.

No Comments

Digital HealthFor years “ health care” and “technology” were two very different, mutually exclusive industries. Health care as an industry was viewed as service-centric and to many people’s dismay, was very slow to evolve. However, about a decade ago with the expansion of Internet access and the introduction of smartphones and tablets, a shift started to occur as forward-leaning health organizations recognized the power of including high-tech engagement tactics with high-touch interaction models. The result was the convergence of health and tech, spawning a whole new generation of consumer-focused health companies.

The proliferation of “health tech” has evolved to what is now is simply known as digital health. These organizations are taking the same tech-driven principles that are woven into all other areas of our daily lives and applying them to help consumers either manage their health or navigate the health care market.

While digital health has been an explosive area of growth and advancement, it is not always a slam-dunk. In the article “Six Truths Digital-Health Entrepreneurs Need to Know,” Beth Seidenberg, a general partner of Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, outlines key fundamentals every digital health company needs to be cognizant of to have the best chance of success. Her truths are:

• New tech solutions should cut costs, increase revenue or cut red tape
• A single app without an open API is an adoption and scale killer
• Customer leverage is key to success
• Build a revenue model before you build your service
• High-tech and high-touch are not mutually exclusive
• Tech and health care entrepreneurs need to join forces

As Beth concludes her article, “The fix for the health-care system and our country’s rising deficit is counting on savvy digital and life-science entrepreneurs to join forces, explore each other’s worlds, build important new businesses — and save our country from financial ruin.”

We couldn’t agree more.

No Comments

mit-sloan-logo-redWhen it comes to managing population health or deploying an employer wellness program, the conversation doesn’t last long before it inevitably turns to engagement. Namely – How do we get more people to participate?

This trillion-dollar question (as in $3 trillion) has long been one of the biggest challenges faced by employers and other organizations as they work to increase participation in the programs and resources they provide to their consumers. While there are numerous approaches and levers that can impact engagement rates, we believe we should follow the same behavior change principle we apply to help shape healthy habits – focus on the simplest thing that will have the biggest impact.

Recently, the MIT Sloan School of Management had a release announcing the high-level findings from a research study on optimizing the effectiveness of email marketing they have been doing in conjunction with RedBrick Health. This research specifically studied the engagement level of individuals in RedBrick programs, when they were presented with a yes/no option compared to a standard “enroll here” option. The study found that yes/no resulted in nearly 40% higher engagement rates across a sample of 40,000 RedBrick users.

It shouldn’t be surprising that providing consumers choice will have a positive outcome as it pertains to program engagement. Choice architecture has long been incorporated into all aspects of our life. However, that making such a minor change in a communication can result in such a dramatic percentage increase in engagement is a great lesson to remember that engagement isn’t always complex algorithms or program designs. Instead, sometimes it’s as simple as empowering a person to choose to take the next step.

Look for us to provide additional insight from this research in the coming months as the paper is published and additional findings are disseminated.

No Comments

February 13th, 2014

Ryan - no jacket lo resHats off to an initiative launched on Friday, February 7th in Minnesota. Reported in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton declared 2014, Minnesota’s “Year of Worksite Wellness”. Among the employers being championed as heralding the importance and effectiveness of worksite wellness programs that are proven to significantly improve health and productivity and decrease health care costs and absenteeism is RedBrick Health client, The Schwan Food Company.

Along with The Schwan Food Company, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Anytime Fitness, Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce, Connolly Kuhl Group, Lakewood Health Center, Life Time Fitness, St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, Taher Inc. and TEAM Industries all have been deemed Worksite Wellness champions as part of this initiative.

We’re encouraged that these companies are not alone, as a 2012 survey by the Minnesota Department of Health found that nearly nine out of 10 Minnesota workplaces are interested in improving wellness, and a quarter of all employers are currently offering worksite wellness efforts. We are seeing similar trends across the U.S., and we’ve seen widespread and growing interest in services designed to engage people in their personal health and drive down health care costs.

The importance of these efforts is undeniable. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, obesity and tobacco use alone cost Minnesota $6 billion annually. Nationally, U.S. health care spend is projected to exceed $3 trillion, or nearly 20% of our national GDP, in 2014. It is estimated that nearly 75% of these costs are tied to chronic illnesses that are a result of lifestyle choices and thus preventable. These numbers are only going to continue to rise unless a concerted effort is focused on empowering individuals to make wiser choices when it comes to managing their health and making their purchasing decisions. Hopefully initiatives such as this one can create a groundswell towards better health for all of us.

More information about Minnesota’s Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) can be found at:
http://www.health.state.mn.us/worksite/
http://www.health.state.mn.us/ship/

Dan Ryan, Chief Executive Officer, RedBrick Health

No Comments

February 5th, 2014

The Divide that Keeps DevidingOur wellness solution is multi-modal. And for good reason – we engage consumers in their health and help them achieve lasting behavior change when we reach them through their preferred media. Consumer learning styles and preferences vary. As do their media access options – for some audiences more than others. Ours is a stream all consumers can swim, not one restricted to those with Internet access. But more and more, the opportunities and solutions consumers have access to are broadened, sometimes significantly, with that proverbial membership card to the World Wide Web – broadband.

That’s why we continue to be reassured as we watch the wall between the web-enabled and the web-without falling further and further into rubble and dust. The more access is shared, the better. Two weeks ago, the Pew Research Center released a compelling Demographic Portrait of consumer technology use – evidence the racial divide of Internet access, specifically between white and black Americans, is positively evolving. And rapidly. There’s still a divide, especially within specific income brackets and in the retiree age subpopulation. But the racial landscape of the web-enabled is expanding. And some of the shifting terrain is enlightening.

According to Pew’s latest survey, 86% of African Americans aged 18-29, 88% black college graduates and 91% African Americans with household incomes of $75,000 or more are active Internet users AND have broadband access within their homes. Those are adoption rates identical to white Americans of similar ages, incomes and education levels. Also compelling, African Americans lead their white counterparts in some areas of social media utilization, with 96% of black Americans aged between 18 and 29 utilizing social networking of some kind.

Pew’s stats indicate blacks and whites are equally likely to own a cell phone, and the two populations have comparable rates of smartphone ownership. The divide between these two racial populations remain, however, when it comes to home broadband. Pew’s survey shows a 74% home broadband access for white Americans versus 62% of their black counterparts. That’s 12 points. Until that chasm is bridged, it remains critical that solutions hoping to effectively engage all populations offer smartphone-optimized consumer experiences on par with their desktop web solutions. The smartphone can only provide a leveling of the “high speed access gap” if the solutions offered consumers via their handheld devices are as compelling, convenient and dimensional as those offered to consumers accessing from their home computers. What advantage does smartphone accessibility offer if the access merely brings the consumer the opportunity to view static thumbnail images the detail of microfiche, or dynamic platforms impossible to navigate with even the most dexterous thumbs?

Pew released a different set of stats in May that found 15% of American adults do not use the Internet at all. Another 9% of adults use the Internet, but not within their homes. When asked why, 32% stated they found the consumer experience of the Internet frustrating. The barrier of consumer frustration, in fact, trumped lack of access and the expense of internet services combined.

Access is essential. But so is design. And consumer experience. If you need proof these things matter, just ask the White House and Department of Health about the tough lessons learned in rolling out the Affordable Care Plan. One of the most significant works of legislation of a generation, and it dangled perilously over potential ruin, months on end, largely due to web site design. Or web site under-design. That may be a simplified view, but make no mistake – the difference between success and failure, between access and alienation, between engagement and missed opportunity, between positive impact and wasted resources hinges, more often than not, on the technology that underpins the access point of the solution itself. And the consumer experience when the technology is activated.

The digital divide continues to disappear. And that’s a good thing. Its place on the endangered species list is welcome. And where barriers to access fade, opportunities to win and advance consumer experience compound and, potentially, flourish.

No Comments

January 29th, 2014

Jeff Dobro
In an earlier post I discussed the results of a study that touted the benefits of a vegetarian diet. Along with eating veggies, an additional way to help you live longer is to eat nuts. Like we tell our health coaching participants regularly, when you get the munchies reach for nuts instead of fatty snacks like chips or candy.

A recent summary of two studies showed that increased nut consumption has been associated with a reduced risk of major chronic diseases and death. The total study size was significant, 120,000 participants, as was the time period – participants answered questions about their diet at the beginning of the studies in the 1980s, and then every two to four years during 30 years of follow-up. Participants who ate nuts daily were 20% less likely to have died during the course of the study than those who avoided nuts.

The researchers found that from those who had never eaten nuts to those who eat them seven days a week, the more frequently people ate nuts, the lower their risk of premature death. In fact, feel free to mix it up – there are lots of varieties of nuts you can choose, such as walnuts, almonds, peanuts and pistachios, among many others. Nuts have numerous benefits for your health.

According to the Mayo Clinic and Harvard Medical School, tree nuts such as almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios and walnuts can lower your LDL (“bad cholesterol”) and contain many other healthy nutrients. Eating more nuts is associated with a significantly lower risk for cardiovascular disease, and death from cancer, heart disease and lung diseases.

So, go nuts! Well, not really. Recommendations vary, but a healthy amount of nuts is generally described as “a handful a day.”

- Dr. Jeff Dobro, Chief Medical Officer, RedBrick Health

Source: N Engl J Med. 2013 Nov 21;369(21):2001-11. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1307352.
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1307352

No Comments

Contact Us

     

©2015 RedBrick Health