With the Big Game just around the corner, we couldn’t help but think about an even bigger game that’s always at play in healthcare: driving health engagement. To help get you closer to a big win, we put together our top 3 plays that drive personalization in healthcare and will move more of your members to better health.

1—When you’ve got the home field advantage—take advantage.

The home field advantage is a real thing—the NFL reports that over 57% of games are won by home teams, putting the road team at a distinct disadvantage. It makes sense, when you consider factors like the energy of the crowd, the familiarity of the field, and the ease of travel you can see why you’d be more in your element when at home.

The same can be said when it comes to member engagement with a health plan. Healthcare organizations have the home field advantage when engaging members because they’re already a part of their system—there’s a degree of familiarity and an opportunity to create unique personalized healthcare experience for individual members. When done right, health action programs breakdown silos between various information systems (clinical and demographic data, communication preferences, and belief systems) and true personalization can be achieved.

Taking advantage of the home field is the first step to running a successful personalization play. Once you start moving down the field, every yard gained gets you closer to understanding your members on a deeper level—from the timing of communications to the most effective channel to the message type. Before you know it, you’ll be doing a touchdown dance when your members make moves to improve their health.

touchdown dance

2—Don’t blitz your members—it’ll only drive them away.

In football, blitzing is a tactic used by the defense to disrupt pass attempts—typically a higher than usual number of defensive players will rush the opposing quarterback to try to tackle them or force them to hurry their pass attempt. This may be effective in football, but it’ll only create distrust (and terror) in health engagement.

Imagine your members as the quarterback in this scenario. If a member is going about their day, then are suddenly rushed by multiple healthcare professionals trying to tackle them into getting a flu shot—they are going to disengage and run for the hills. Of course, you’re not actually trying to tackle them, but the concept still applies when you consider the consequences of a poorly executed health engagement strategy. When members are being blitzed with unrelated, uncoordinated health messages all they are going to see is a lack of being understood by their health plan.

Instead of trying to tackle your members from all angles—play the role of the quarterback with your members as the receivers. Coordinate messages that address health actions across multiple programs specific to the individual. When members feel like they’re part of the team and understand the desired play, they’re more likely to be in the end zone.

3—Recognize each member as the MVP—and treat them that way.

There’s nothing more personal than healthcare, so why aren’t more health plans driving a personalized healthcare member experience? Every member is unique and deserves to be treated as such—like the MVP named after the Big Game.

Healthcare technology is smart and dynamic, just like the people receiving healthcare services and communications. There’s nothing worse than knowing you’re part of a batch and blast model and realistically, this should be a thing of the past. Creating coordinated programs without burning members out on communications means the ability to drive health actions for multiple programs at once using a multi-channel approach—that’s the real MVP treatment.

Delivering the best message via the right channel at the time a member is most likely to engage should be the goal of every health action program. When people receive messages according to their preferences, the likelihood of the desired health action increases significantly. If you can deliver a positive experience and build trust with your members, they’ll feel empowered to take health actions on their own.

Overtime Play—A good offense is a good defense.

For health plans looking for opportunities to increase health engagement, throwing up a Hail Mary and hoping your members are waiting in the end zone isn’t the right approach—you can’t expect the play to work if you haven’t communicated in a way that will reach the member. You might get lucky, but a successful health action program will test and learn different approaches, analyze data, and use behavioral science to determine what’s right for specific populations.

What this play is telling us is that when you’ve built a strategy that takes all of these factors into account, you’re more likely to reach members where and when they want to be reached with messages that will resonate. Your offensive plays will be the best possible defense, empowering members to drive their own preventive health actions.

What does it mean to win the Big Game of health engagement? A highly engaged member base means healthier humans and better outcomes, which leads to higher Medicare Star Ratings, more funding, and more to offer your members to keep them engaged and healthier in the long run.