For most healthcare organizations today there are two primary goals – driving down cost and raising quality ratings. Leaders in the healthcare industry agree there is just one key to delivering both those results.

We’ve found that understanding health engagement is the single most important factor in developing effective campaigns, whether you’re seeking to onboard new members or launching a new wellness campaign. The rise in healthcare consumerism is causing nothing short of a revolution in the way that healthcare plans and providers find and manage their member and patient experiences. Understanding the components of a strong healthcare member engagement journey is key to delivering the type of experience that attracts, retains and influences members.

After designing and managing hundreds of health engagement campaigns consisting of millions of unique member touchpoints, the experts at Icario have identified five mistakes organizations make when attempting to create a strong member engagement journey.

Understanding these components means the difference between repeated failed touchpoints and member abrasion, and getting it right the first time.

1. Failure to Leverage Multi-Channel Strategies

A strong health engagement campaign identifies the channels most preferred by members, customizes the engagement strategy to use each channel, and combination of channels, effectively. This requires a cohesive strategy that works to synchronize each touchpoint.

Member abrasion is always a concern whenever multiple touch points are involved. By utilizing a combination of the member’s preferred channels, you can reduce abrasion and increase response. The idea is to create synergy by designing a strategy that helps those channels – whether you’re using text, email, or IVR – deliver stronger results as part of the whole.

2. Not Mapping to the Member Journey

It’s important to really map engagement to the actual member journey. (See our blog: “7 Reasons Member Experience is Shifting to a Healthcare Customer Experience” for more on the member journey). As healthcare consumers become more educated, they engage with organizations much later in the actual experience. Star Ratings, HEDIS and other quality ratings are making it easier and easier for consumers to develop their preferences on their own. Often, they begin to evaluate solutions before they’re ever contacted a health plan or provider organization directly.

This is particularly important for healthcare organizations now facing a competitive market. Understanding where and when to engage with potential members or patients can be crucial to gaining new customers, and keeping those customers satisfied long term.

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3. Ignoring Key Performance Indicators

Many health engagement campaigns only measure performance when it’s too late – at the end. Just as you need to map your strategy to the member experience, it’s also important to understand the building blocks that lead to success as the campaign progresses.

Based on our experience, knowing how to measure performance at each critical step in the campaign can help expose areas of potential failure, and provide a chance to fix them. Key performance indicators, or KPIs, based on historical and predictive data can provide an ongoing measurement component to the campaign that can guarantee results.

4. Not Educating the Population

One area where KPIs can be particularly effective is determining health engagement with provider or health plan content. As healthcare consumers engage later and later in the cycle, strong educational content can become a competitive factor.

It’s been proven that educated members show higher levels of overall wellness, better compliance and improved outcomes. Of course, this leads to higher Star ratings usually as well. A CDW survey of patients who had recently been hospitalized found that those with the highest satisfaction rates were those that felt they were well-informed before, during and after their treatment.

5. Choosing the Wrong Healthcare Member Engagement Platform

Effective health engagement platforms provide robust capability, but they’re flexible as well. The right platform can handle customized member engagement campaigns that target the specific preferences of members while incorporating actionable data for the best results.

This means that health plans and providers need to select a turnkey solution that not only handles integrated member engagement strategies, but also provides strong backend integration, personalized communications and a data-driven healthcare approach that enables better business decisions.

Creating and sustaining meaningful healthcare member experiences requires more than just knowing the key demographics of the member segment being targeted. To create member engagement strategies that deliver on the two biggest healthcare goals – driving down cost and raising quality ratings.

It takes a holistic view. Consider the member and the channels, strategies and the platform that ultimately drives those campaigns.