5/02/2019

Is the Wrong Health Education Solution Crippling Your Care Managers?

Healthwise Communications Team

Carol, a care manager for a major health plan, reached out to a new member to discuss his care. Hank had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes three years earlier, so Carol wanted to make sure he was managing his condition and see if he had any questions or concerns.

 

“Care plan adherence is always a big concern with type 2 diabetes,” explains Carol. “Disease management is critical to keeping these individuals healthy and reducing costs across the board.”

Hank had been prescribed insulin but admitted he hadn’t been using it, so Carol asked detailed questions to find the root of the problem and make recommendations. “It turned out that Hank wasn’t averse to using insulin; he just couldn’t remember the doctor’s instructions on how to inject himself.”

A quick search in Carol’s solution database provided mobile-friendly instructions on self-injection. She also pulled up a guide to insulin pumps that allowed her to educate Hank about his options while they were on the phone. She then emailed the guide to Hank so he and his doctor could decide about the insulin pump together.

Not all health education solutions are created equal.

Even though Hank’s previous health plan had an education solution in place, inefficiency and a lack of employee buy-in had worked against him. For years, the company had assumed their education would magically fill in communication gaps, but care managers didn’t know how to use it. And even when they did, usability issues made it difficult for customers to consume.

“Care managers aren’t doctors,” admits Carol. “When Hank asked his former care manager for more information on insulin, she didn’t know how to address his questions; she just emailed him some lengthy documents, not realizing that Hank didn’t own a computer. Because the documents weren’t mobile-responsive, the info was difficult to read on his tiny phone screen, and he gave up. That company’s education solution didn’t provide talking points for coaching patients on the phone, and the informational material it sent out wasn’t always usable.”

On paper, a solution’s content might seem helpful, but neglecting to research and test a health content provider ahead of time can be as costly for a health plan and its members as not using one at all. “If care managers and providers had been given the tools to follow up with Hank effectively from the beginning—explaining the medical terms using language he understood, getting the information to him in a way that he would consume, and helping him adhere to his care plan—he could have felt better sooner, and his health plan could have saved money,” says Carol. “Cases like Hank’s are proof that many companies need to find better health education solutions.”

The right health education solution can pay for itself.

Stories like Hank’s are common in the healthcare industry. Most people want to learn more about their care, but they only know two ways to get that information: the (unreliable) internet and (expensive) visits to the doctor. When organizations proactively educate and provide answers, they empower members to take control of their own care in a way that improves their health and saves money.1

Research shows that a quality health education solution provides multiple benefits:

  • Increased brand loyalty and retention
  • Less money spent on repeat care
  • Higher level of member satisfaction2
  • Ability for care managers to coach in-house
  • Compliance with quality programs like CPC+ and HCAHPS3,4

Not all health content solutions are created equal, so it’s critical to understand what to look for in a quality health education solution that will work for your company and your members. “The Buyer’s Guide to Selecting the Right Health Education Solution” outlines the eight key components of a comprehensive plan so you can make an informed decision. It also provides talking points to use when identifying your company’s needs and comparing services.

Better health information delivers a better experience for your members and your employees. You should feel confident and comfortable sharing the content, and you should know you’re getting the best resources for everyone who will use it. Find out how Healthwise can help you empower your care managers and educate patients.


1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19514801
2 https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/healthcare/hospital-discharge-instructions-boost-patient-satisfaction
https://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives
https://www.hcahpsonline.org

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