Most healthcare organizations believe they are effectively providing information to educate consumers about their health. In reality, they are in “broadcast” mode, sending out their communications from many sources in which that are telling “all consumers” about everything.
“They are sending me so many communications and I have such little time to look at them.”
“It is frustrating sorting through all of their health information to find what I need to manage my health”.
“I want sign up to receive certain health alerts on my mobile phone since I am not at my computer very often.”
“Teach Me” Opportunity: Provide a comprehensive yet personalized selection of health education information and tools, that is written at a level that patients can understand, is delivered through online and mobile channels and enables two- way communication.
Engagement in Action:
In order to share different approaches with you, I have selected a few examples which demonstrate how various decision support and social media tools are being utilized to educate the consumer.
- Mayo Clinic has launched their Medical Edge Weekend, online radio show led by specialists discussing selected topics while patients engage through email and twitter to share comments and questions. Mayo also offers “patient friendly” podcasts organized by topics such as “Women’s Health”, “Men’s Health” and “Children’s Health” as well as different conditions.
- American Heart Association has designed the “Profilers” tools to help consumers understand their treatment options. Each question begins with an overview to make sure she is informed before responding. The tool captures personalized information and provides a customized report to share with my doctor for a more in- depth discussion.
- The Eat This Not That tool is designed to teach the consumer about food choices. Consumers are challenged to get the right answer by evaluating the two options placed side by side. With the ticking clock, consumers are rewarded with more points when making the right choice faster. Although the depth of questions in each category (e.g. breakfast, snack, dessert) is not yet available, the tool succeeds in engaging while teaching the consumer about making better food choices.
- CDC has created a FLU IQ Widget which is a tool to test for knowledge for getting and spreading the flu. The widget delivers 10 questions in succession, and gives the correct answer after each one. At the end of the quiz, a final score (out of 10) is displayed along with a message to challenge others which helps spread the learning. This is truly viral!
Each example above offers only a piece of the puzzle. For the full picture, companies need to bring the consumer into the development process and understand their overall need for education from the “outside in”. This insight will help guide the development of a complete solution with new capabilities for communication, collaboration and personalization to “teach” the consumer.
Read about other key engagement drivers:
#2: "Support Me"
#4: "Challenge Me"
#5: "Reward Me"