The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people access care. In the direct healthcare space, organizations around the country have shifted to virtual-first environments for non-emergent needs to meet people where they are and ensure minimal disruption to care, all while mitigating the spread of the virus. Access to high-quality healthcare is key during a public health crisis. Whether your onsite or nearsite health center doors are open or your center is still operating primarily through virtual care, engaging your people throughout their healthcare journeys should be a priority.
When employees are active participants in their own health, your population becomes healthier and results in a more productive workforce. Regardless of how you’re currently delivering care, there are ways to effectively engage your population and ensure they continue to live their healthiest lives. Premise recognizes the importance of the member experience, which is why we’ve invested in robust support teams to help our clients drive utilization across various access points. Here are four strategies our teams leverage to help drive engagement in this new normal:
Communicating with your employees should be a year-round priority, and it becomes even more important in the middle of a health crisis. In uncertain situations, information is constantly evolving and recommendations change quickly. To keep your population informed, provide employees with the most up-to-date information about what services remain available at the health center or what can be done virtually. In addition, it’s necessary to clearly communicate any new safety policies that have been implemented at the workplace.
The Premise Health approach: Proactive outreach
If your onsite or nearsite center is closed for in-person care, providers can proactively reach out and assist members in managing their health from a distance. Since the start of the pandemic, Premise providers have taken a proactive approach to member care, reaching out to members to ensure their care needs are met. This simple act helps not only keep members engaged, but also directly impacts their experience, making them feel supported and cared for during this uncertain time. While it’s important to check in with all members of varying health levels, it’s critically important to make older members and those with chronic conditions a priority, as they may be more vulnerable to complications from COVID-19. Chronic conditions don’t go away while someone is in quarantine – they often get worse. In addition, certain chronic conditions, like diabetes and hypertension, appear to have an impact on an individual’s COVID-19 experience, making it even more important to engage these members. Our providers also contact members who need to reschedule appointments, providing them with new in-person availability or offering a virtual visit. This proactive outreach by a provider demonstrates an above and beyond care and concern for the individual.
Premise recognizes the importance of coordinating care for employee populations in the middle of a pandemic. This approach helps assist members with any obstacles and meets their needs before they arise, such as obtaining medication refills or scheduling a member’s return to work evaluation following a COVID-19 diagnosis and quarantine.
Make it Easy
Direct healthcare is meant to be more accessible and convenient than healthcare in the community. Amidst the stress and challenges that often come with a health crisis, accessing healthcare should not add to stress levels. Virtual visits provide a convenient access point to care when in-person visits are limited during a health crisis. Making your employees know what’s available to them helps drive engagement and ensures they receive care when and where they need it.
The Premise Health approach: Ensure convenience
Convenience matters during a health crisis, regardless of how care is being delivered. To facilitate a smooth virtual visit for employees who are accessing one for the first time, Premise support teams provide how-to guides and simple communications that walk members through scheduling a virtual visit through the portal and what they can expect during their appointment. This in turn drives higher adoption of the portal and boosts engagement. For in-person visits, our teams have clearly posted signage that detail new safety guidelines and proactively communicate those to members prior to their appointments.
You can house the guides and communications on your intranet so team members are kept informed and can refer back to the resources when needed. This is especially beneficial when your workforce is working from home and utilizing the intranet as an informational resource.
A member’s experience should always be priority whether delivering care in physical or virtual environment. Listening to members and making them feel cared for and safe is more critical now than before. The pandemic has increased feelings of aloneness due to social and physical distancing, so providers going the extra mile to support those in isolation significantly impacts their experience.
This is especially true for those with a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 or suspected positive after exposure. Quarantine can be lonely and create an additional level of anxiety.
The Premise Health approach: Prioritize the member
If a member has a confirmed positive case, Premise providers proactively check in with members to verify symptom status and discuss the member’s overall wellbeing. This approach demonstrates compassion and the ability to meet members where they are, when they need care the most. It also provides an opportunity to identify any challenges they may be facing during isolation and work together to solve those problems.
While providers may not directly connect with every member your center serves, Premise teams understand the importance of taking time to listen to your entire employee population. Are employees asking for additional behavioral health services? If you have a predominantly remote population, are there resources that can help address common challenges while social distancing? Our team can serve as a valuable resource to provide strategic guidance and deliver solutions to meet your organization’s unique needs.
Educate and Inform
Your population is unique with distinct needs, so there is not a one size fits all approach for engaging your members. To keep your population informed, it’s key to utilize communication channels that meet them where they are – whether on the plant floor or sitting at a desk.
The Premise Health approach: Personalized communication
At Premise, we utilize a variety of different strategies to engage members based on the organization’s industry and unique population. For example, employees at a manufacturing plant aren’t sitting in front of desks all day, so posters, flyers, and verbal announcements are the best channels to communicate information and drive engagement. However, when a population is in a work from home remote setting, digital communication formats are most successful, such as email or posting information to an intranet.
Dependents also require a different strategy because they aren’t on site and don’t have access to the same resources. The most effective communication channels for dependents may be direct mail, such as a post card, or providing an information card inside an employee paycheck to bring home. Engaging members and dependents requires a personalized communication approach that is flexible, at work or at home.
Ensuring members are aware of their healthcare options and utilizing them is key to operating a successful wellness center. Premise takes a proactive approach to make care convenient and easy to access, helping keep your population healthy – even during a pandemic. Providing onsite, nearsite, and virtual access to care is valuable for both you and your people, but only yields the biggest return when your members are truly engaged in their health journey, and we’re here to serve as your partner.
Premise Health is committed to prioritizing experience and access through our COVID-19 products and targeted engagement strategies. As the COVID-19 outbreak evolves, our teams can play a critical role in providing continued support and access to high-quality healthcare. The COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly changing and fluid situation, and our products are continually evolving to adapt and help your organization strategically navigate this unprecedented and challenging time.