The Key to Improving Coaching Efficiency and Member Outcomes

Healthwise Communications Team

Care managers have one of the hardest jobs in healthcare. They’re tasked with reaching out to members who may not want to be bothered, improving health outcomes without the ability to prescribe medication, and persuading people to take action without meeting them face-to-face. On top of all this, care managers must know how to coach on a wide variety of conditions and diseases, as well as understand the best way to help members overcome personal obstacles that are unique to them.


Kind of sounds like a doctor, nurse, psychologist, project manager, teacher, and life coach all rolled into one, doesn’t it? Oh, and let’s not forget data analyst.

Since it’s hardly practical to send your care managers to 30 years of college—or provide them with crystal balls—they must rely on the tools your organization gives them. These solutions need to do several things at once:

  • Consolidate information from a variety of sources, to provide a picture of the member’s needs and health history.
  • Differentiate high-risk patients from those who need less intervention, so that care managers can focus on improving outcomes with the fewest resources (read: less time and money).
  • Create an automated way to identify opportunities and unmet needs within the existing workflow, so that new programs and health education can be recommended.
  • Provide consistent, accurate, efficient health education that’s easy to find and send.

Why is consistent, integrated health education so important?

Out of those four bullet points, the most underrated is probably the last: Provide consistent, accurate, efficient health education that’s easy to find and send. It’s possibly also the most important—and the easiest to implement, if you use a health education solution that integrates with your current health management solution.

Think about it: How often are your care managers sending out education to members if they have to jump through hoops to find it? And is the member going to read it if they receive it days later? The right solution should place recommended topics right on the screen when care managers are on the phone with members. It should also build in easy ways to send the content to a member’s email, phone, or portal with just a click, so the member receives it quickly while it’s still fresh in their mind.

Consistent health education ensures that members always receive accurate, user-friendly information that never contradicts itself. When coaches are forced to search the web or a disorganized print library of health information, they run the risk of confusing—or even endangering—members.

For example, let’s say a care manager wants to help a member with diabetes manage their diet. They don’t find one article that covers everything they want, but they do find two—from two different sources—that cover it fairly well. The coach sends both pieces of education to the patient (days later, because the process wasn’t integrated into the existing workflow). When the patient reads the articles, they’re confused:

  • One says a portion of pasta is a ½ cup, while the other says it’s a ¼ cup.
  • One says to count carbs, while the other just says to avoid certain foods.
  • One says to exercise in addition to dieting, while the other doesn’t mention exercise at all.

For a member trying to manage a complicated and potentially life-threatening disease, this confusion can be enough to make them throw up their hands and give up. Or perhaps they’ll pick and choose the parts they like: Eat the larger portions of pasta and skip the exercise.

By providing health education written by one source, you ensure that everything will be consistent, no matter what you send. You’ll also reduce overuse of care, make it easier to send appropriate preventive care, and increase positive patient outcomes.


Proving the Value of Health Education Solutions

One major health plan in the South improved population health, provided a superior care experience, and reduced their per capita healthcare costs. They partnered with a health education company that provided a solution that worked with Jiva, the population health platform from ZeOmega® that the health plan was already using.

In the past, care managers had to search the web for content, print it out, and mail it to each member. This meant that people could receive material that was inaccurate, contradictory, out-of-date, or hard to read.

The health plan had two primary objectives:

  1. The health education had to be consistent and easy for coaches to find.
  2. The coaches needed an efficient way to send education from within Jiva.

They decided to go with the Healthwise® Solution for ZeOmega® and the Healthwise® Knowledgebase. These integrated tools allowed care managers to quickly find reliable content and automate its delivery.

Coaches can now prep better for calls, send digital content instantly, and deliver follow-up health education. They can even see whether a member has received and read the content. This helps them identify high-risk members who need additional interventions versus more engaged patients who are using the education to manage their health.

Since implementing the solutions, the health plan says their coaching efficiency has improved and they have increased member engagement. Since materials can be sent digitally, the organization has saved money on printing and mailing costs.

The health plan also appreciates the ability to gather data for accreditation reporting and to support member incentives, such as reduced copays or HAS/FSA deposits.

To learn more about how this health plan created a more efficient, patient-centered coaching system, read their client success story.

When your care managers have the tools they need to be successful, everybody wins: the coaches, the members, and the entire health plan.