By Kristie Nelson-Neuhaus, Marketing Communications Account Manager, RedBrick Health
Do you have a ‘set it and forget it’ communication approach with your audience? If so, you might be settling—unnecessarily—for a lower level of health engagement.
Communication practices are a key driver in engaging individuals with their health. In this post, we’re going to focus on three ways in which top-performing companies capture attention and sustain engagement through their communications—so let’s take a look at how each plays out.
Email. Why does email make such a difference to your engagement strategy? Our research found that people who are reachable by email show 92% more engagement. Individuals interact immediately with email messages, clicking through to complete an action, such as a health assessment or activity tracking.
When you’re designing your email communications, remember two simple tips:
Communication cadence. Establishing a consistent cadence not only helps your audience understand the basics of your program, but also builds familiarity with your well-being brand through content, images and design.
Top performing companies communicate an average of 12 times per year. This may seem like a lot, especially in companies where employees feel like they’re flooded with messages. Three tips will help you navigate this issue.
And finally, mix it up. We recommend mixing the types of messages as well as the delivery methods to promote sustained engagement and support your well-being strategy.
In conclusion, take heart. You know your audience. You don’t have to do everything perfectly—use your strengths in one area to overcome weaknesses in others. Be authentic, be consistent, be clear. If you practice these principles, you will see results.
June 20th, 2016
By Phil Hadden, vice president of business development, RedBrick Health
Cost, access to providers and convenience are major drivers for employers and consumers when selecting a health plan. You might have these questions in mind:
If you are limiting your wellness efforts to just hosting wellness-related content on your site, you may want to re-think that strategy. Based on the Pew Internet Project’s research in 2014, 87% of U.S. adults use the internet and 72% of internet users say they they’ve looked online for health information in the past year. 77% of those online health seekers used search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. So there’s a good chance that your members are not logging into your site to find health-related information.
Consumers have the desire and the interest to improve their health and well-being. A Gallop poll in 2013 found that 36% of adults describe themselves as overweight and 51% of adults said they want to lose weight. A report from Canalys (an independent analyst group that follows the tech industry) reported that in the first quarter of 2014 a total of 2.7 million activity tracking wearable devices were shipped worldwide.
Providing a solution that supports your members in their journey to better health gives you the opportunity to take advantage of this heightened interest in personal health. Achieving meaningful health engagement requires a solution that incorporates proven principles of behavioral science, a highly personalized engagement experience and the triggers that can keep members engaged and help them adopt healthier habits. Each member’s path to better health will be different and so you’ll need to incorporate the power of choice to ensure they are committed to their goals. A flexible solution with options for web, mobile, device integration and onsite services is also key. Improve your well-being solution with personalized, easy to follow small steps to better health, fun to use tools, expert support, rewards and all the encouragement they need to reach their well-being goals.
Our data driven strategies are proven to help your plan achieve market-leading engagement. To truly make your solution stand out you’ll need a multi-modal communications campaign, research backed strategies and proven incentive designs. RedBrick Health can help you keep your members meaningfully engaged over time and achieve a successful culture of health.
Contact us to find out how we can help you deliver a compelling and truly differentiated approach to member well-being for your brand.
 Pew Research Center. Health Fact Sheet. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/health-fact-sheet/
 Brown, A. (November 29, 2013). American’s Desire to Shed Pounds Outweighs Effort. Retrieved from http://www.gallup.com/poll/166082/americans-desire-shed-pounds-outweighs-effort.aspx
 Canalys. Fitbit accounted for nearly half of global wearable band shipments in Q1 2014. Retrieved from http://www.canalys.com/newsroom/fitbit-accounted-nearly-half-global-wearable-band-shipments-q1-2014
May 31st, 2016
By Eric Zimmerman, Chief Marketing Officer, RedBrick Health
Commitment to any health improvement is amplified when that commitment happens through an active choice. The principle of “choice architecture” suggests that the combination of guidance and choice works best. In other words, when people have the power to choose how and when they want to engage—as well as the focus on that engagement—the result is stronger engagement and better results.
Data help, too. You can use data to offer consumers the most relevant options, emphasizing things that work for “people like me.” But it’s choice that seems to matter most.
In fact, among those with significant health risks—prediabetics, those with a BMI over 30, individuals with elevated cardiovascular risk factors—our research found that it didn’t matter how a person engaged, as long as they engaged. For example, some chose to work in a digital coaching format we call RedBrick Journeys®. Others worked with a “live person”—a well-being guide who offers coaching, guidance and support. Some chose to track their physical activity using a wearable device. All participants improved their health in clinically meaningful ways, at surprisingly comparable rates.
Sometimes we think we know what’s best for people. For example, the conventional wisdom says people with chronic conditions need to be enrolled in a disease management program. However, our data show that—given the choice—80% of those with a chronic condition choose to work on a “lifestyle” topic. And by letting them do so, we have engaged substantially more individuals than wellness companies that fail to offer choice.
As it turns out, choice matters. It intensifies commitment and engagement. And it works.
This post is part of the blog series of What the Best Do Better, our most recent study on health engagement. Stay tuned and you’ll gain knowledge on what top-performing organizations are doing differently through successful program design patterns.
Find our first post in the series “What drives meaningful engagement? We set out to find out” here.
May 25th, 2016
By Andrew Mellin, Vice President, Medical Director, RedBrick Health
Work stress, compassion fatigue, emotional exhaustion, moral distress and burnout. Is this what your care teams are experiencing?
Talking with my physician and nurse colleagues, I’m no longer surprised to hear them discuss the high levels of stress and ongoing challenges in their jobs and how they are looking for a change in their workplace to improve their overall well-being. Providing healthcare is extremely stressful. Studies have shown a number of causes of stress such as interpersonal relationships, the nature of nursing, the lack of autonomy, high patient volumes and simply the nature of providing care to patients and families.1, 2 It is clear that many individuals benefit from external support to learn techniques to cope with stress and develop mindfulness and resiliency.
Health systems are recognizing that the overall health of their organization and their ability to fulfill their mission of delivering the highest quality of patient care is directly tied to the health and well-being of their care team. I recently had the pleasure of hosting a webinar with Lauren Chestnut from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Dan Buckalew from Main Line Health on how they each address stress in their respective health systems.
These organizations have adopted the following experiential and evidence-based best practices to deploy comprehensive stress-reduction programs:
An informal survey during the webinar revealed that most attendees from health systems across the country recognize stress as a key issue. However, they also expressed that they don’t yet have a comprehensive program in place.
If your organization also doesn’t have a comprehensive stress management and resiliency strategy in place, don’t wait to address this issue. Addressing stress at health systems is much more than employee engagement and well-being—it’s about patient safety and ongoing organizational success.
To learn more about how to address stress and increase resiliency in your organization, I encourage you to read the Caring for your Care Team: How to reduce stress and increase resiliency in your workforce paper and listen to our Caring for your Care Team webinar.
1Moustaka, Å., & Constantinidis, T. C. (2010). Sources and effects of Work-related stress in nursing. Health Science Journal, 4(4).
2Balch, C. M., & Shanafelt, T. (2011). Combating stress and burnout in surgical practice: a review. Thoracic surgery clinics, 21(3), 417-430
By Eric Zimmerman, Chief Marketing Officer, RedBrick Health
As an industry, we’ve been obsessed for the past few years about the “E” word. But it’s not clear we all mean the same thing when we use the term engagement.
For advertising or e-commerce-based business models, it’s all about page views, clicks and mobile app taps. But what about population health, or employee well-being programs?
In my view, we’re really interested in meaningful health engagement—meaning the engagement that produces better health—and that’s not always so easy to measure.
Many health and well-being programs define success by what’s easiest to measure—things like website registration rates, online activity, mobile app downloads or coaching sessions. But do these program engagement metrics really have anything to do with ongoing health improvement rates?
We coined the term meaningful engagement to signify patterns of program engagement that are predictive of health improvement outcomes. Then we set out to measure the characteristics of program designs most predictive of meaningful engagement. Finally, based on a dataset containing over 1 million consumers and over 100 distinct designs, we established best practice ranges and recommendations.
We called these design patterns What the Best Do Better.
Over the next few weeks, we will highlight what top-performing organizations are doing differently, and how you can use these practical best practices to amplify the impact of your population health and well-being efforts. Watch this space!
You can also view and download the What the Best Do Better infographic here.
By Phil Hadden, vice president, business development, RedBrick Health
If you’re like other health plans, you struggle with getting your members to actively engage in their health. When a member signs up for their health coverage, they receive a lot of information. Unfortunately, that health-related information often is put into a drawer and is mostly forgotten until a crisis arises.
So how can you get your members to engage in their health the other 364 days of the year?
The first step is to help members get started. Our research and results show that members who are empowered with choices and simple, short steps will engage. Our research also shows that members who can choose how they wish to engage and what they want to focus on will stay engaged longer. By encouraging them with ongoing communications and providing the combined power of social support, gamification, and financial incentives, our members enjoy lasting behavior change.
RedBrick Health’s engagement platform is your solution to help members get and stay on the path to better health. By bringing together all the benefits you offer and our powerful tools into one intuitive user experience, we ensure that each member has the right information at the right time. Our proprietary technology provides a flexible and configurable solution that easily integrates all programs you want to feature. Additionally, we offer valuable solutions like telemedicine, health advocacy, transparency, shared decision, medication compliance, and connectivity with most of the popular activity trackers and apps.
Our results speak for themselves. We help health plans obtain meaningful engagement that gets results.
Contact us to find out how we can help your members get engaged in their health today.
By Andrew Mellin, M.D., vice president, medical director, RedBrick Health
A Diabetic. A Hypertensive. A COPDer. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard a patient referred to by his or her disease. Nobody is “just a diabetic.” Nobody just has a disease or condition. Every individual is a complex interplay of clinical, behavioral, socioeconomic, genetic, spiritual, environmental and many other factors.
So is it surprising to learn that when people seek help to support their overall health and well-being, they often do not want to talk about their condition? RedBrick Health has found that when people with diseases like diabetes, COPD, or heart failure first connect with our live coaches 80% of the time they don’t want to talk about their conditions; instead, they want to talk about some other aspect of their lives. The majority of the time they want to discuss improving another factor in their life that could directly improve their clinical condition. As we’ve worked with these individuals, we’ve seen multiple times how identifying and addressing that first key factor – what we call the “first domino”- makes a measureable difference in changing that person’s path to health and well-being.
Here’s an example: Mary is a factory worker, obese, hypertensive, and has an HbA1c of 9.5. Mary is identified as a “high-risk diabetic.” Her doctor told her to lose weight and exercise, but she has been unable to make changes over the past few years. Mary’s “problem” is not diabetes. She has a high level of stress about supporting her family, which keeps her up at night during which time she mindlessly eats. Through live and digital coaching programs, Mary has learned that her first domino is stress. By learning how to more effectively deal with stress and be more resilient, Mary now sleeps better and is more mindful about her nutrition. She starts losing weight and reduces her diabetes medications.
What does this mean for managing the health and well-being of populations? Clearly, there is an important role for supporting very high acuity individuals through case management. Diseases can be complex, and people often need help from clinical experts coordinating care among their providers, and ensuring they receive the appropriate level of clinical support and all elements of evidence-based care. While this is enough for some, this approach alone may not make a meaningful, sustained change in the underlying behaviors that can improve each person’s disease and overall health and well-being.
The ideal approach augments case management with live and digital solutions that catalyze each person to identify his or her intrinsic motivation for change and find that first domino, regardless if that domino specifically addresses clinical elements of the condition or addresses lifestyle behaviors that underlie it. Then the individual needs ongoing, continuous step-by-step support through his or her personal journey towards better health.
The next time you look at the list of diabetics, COPDers, and CHFers in your population, remember that each person on the list has a first domino that most likely won’t fall by only addressing the disease. The best way to keep the dominos falling is through ongoing, individualized support that considers all domains of that person’s overall health and well-being.
Contact us to find out how we can help your care management participants find their first domino.
By Tony Fisher, senior vice president of consumer solutions, RedBrick Health
Pharmaceutical companies spend years focusing their innovation on creating the right molecule to help treat a condition or disease. If they are first to market, they enjoy a period of exclusivity; but then generics take over, drive down the price and commoditize the market. Innovating beyond the pill is something big pharma has been trying to do for years to fight commoditization. They’ve turned to innovation as a way to differentiate their product—so much so that the phrase “beyond the pill” has become a moniker in the industry.1
There are a few good examples of innovation that moves beyond the pill: Gilead combining its HIV medications for a first-ever, once-daily, multi-dose solution; Schering-Plough (now Merck) creating a network of clinics to support Remicade; and GlaxoSmithKline’s unique delivery device for Advair.2 These companies have shown that if you can innovate beyond the pill, you can create real market differentiation in a commoditized industry.
But innovation has taken an interesting turn. In my recent conversations with leading pharma companies, I was amazed to hear that many of them are focused on condition prevention in addition to condition treatment. It seems counterintuitive—wouldn’t preventing the condition or disease put a significant dent in revenue and profit?
Apparently not. The reality is there will be more than enough individuals with chronic conditions to drive the revenue and profit of leading pharma companies for decades to come. In the U.S., it’s projected that the prevalence of diabetes will increase 64% between 2010 and 2025,3 and 40.5% of the population will have some form of cardiovascular disease by 2030.4
At RedBrick, we’ve seen that engaging in healthy behaviors can help people to manage or prevent chronic conditions—and it can help to deliver the clinically meaningful results that can lower healthcare costs. We’re working with leading pharmaceutical companies to take condition management beyond the pill: to engage people in healthy habits that drive behavior change and healthy outcomes. It’s in everyone’s best interest.
1 Stan Bernard, MD. Winning Beyond the Molecule. PharmExec.com. April 1, 2011. [Online]. http://www.pharmexec.com/winning-beyond-molecule
2 Jason Bloomberg, Digital Transformation Moves Pharma ‘Beyond the Pill’. Forbes. August 15, 2014. [Online]. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonbloomberg/2014/08/15/digital-transformation-moves-pharma-beyond-the-pill/
3 William R. Rowley and Clement Bezold. Population Health Management. August 2012, 15(4): 194-200. doi:10.1089/pop.2011.0053.
4 American Heart Association. Forecasting the Future of Cardiovascular Disease in the United States. [Online]. 2015. http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/123/8/933.long]
By Matt Scholl, vice president of business development, RedBrick Health
In October, we conducted a brief survey of attendees to the AHIP National Conferences on Medicare and Medicaid. We asked for feedback on three topics:
Here’s a snapshot of what we learned:
At the conference, we observed that while there is effort to offer programs that align with quality metrics—such as promoting healthy pregnancy and smoking cessation—there is no silver bullet that offers a holistic approach to improving member health. We see a great opportunity for health plans to continue building an approach to population health that addresses not just risks and conditions, but other aspects of well-being, for example, using highly scalable, low-cost digital tools to break down access issues, promote family health and improve financial literacy.