Understand & Innovate: Update Your POV on Population Health

October 19, 2021
Thought Leadership
Understand Innovative Wellview

The effects of the pandemic have greatly impacted how organizations conduct business, how employees work – but also how they prioritize their well-being. While many companies found themselves having to rapidly innovate and adapt to new and changing circumstances on a product or consumer level, many did not react with the same speed and focus when it came to employee health. 

The reality is that few companies have a cohesive strategy for employee population health, or really any idea of where to start at all.

What You Can Do

Employers Spend on Health Resources, But Why Don’t People Use Them?

It’s no secret that our current healthcare system is created by those who finance it versus those who use it. The end result? Employees who are disengaged from their healthcare and disappointed with its offerings – which costs U.S. companies up to $550 billion a year in lost productivity.

Employers need to meet their employees and their families where they are by offering a tailored health and well-being experience for truly effective engagement. It’s not about the provider, it’s not about the employer; real benefits will come when employee benefits are created according to how employees define health and well-being. The numbers don’t lie – highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability, according to Gallup.

Engagement in Action

A good example of how employees or consumers are currently defining well-being is the proliferation of wearable fitness trackers like those from Apple, Fitbit, or Garmin. With 1 in 5 US adults using wearable trackers or health apps, taking notes from the consumer health space can impact strategies to inspire members to engage in a health-related behavior change.

Take a Proactive, Preventive Approach to Employee Health

Traditionally, employers have thought about employee health in a reactive sense – as a response to illness or injury. The truth is, employees and employers will benefit from taking a proactive, preventive approach to their health. It seems obvious, but unfortunately, that’s not how things are going in the real world. According to McKinsey, 80% of employees never or rarely use medical services in a given year. Yet the healthcare costs incurred are substantially more due to a “reactive” care response.

Employers need to view proactive employee health as an important investment – and lead with a culture that promotes caring for oneself and one’s family.

Create a network of holistic health and well-being offerings

From here, companies need to work with teams like ours at Wellview to build a well-curated set of purpose-built health and well-being offerings that their employees will actually find value engaging with. Those that don’t, risk losing employees. Some are even walking away from jobs if they feel their personal well-being isn’t given the right status in their organization, according to Forrester.

It’s also table stakes at this point that employees have the ability to conveniently and intuitively access their health and well-being offerings through their preferred engagement modality. If they can’t access it easily, they won’t want to use it. And the offerings shouldn’t feel fragmented or redundant – so effective integration is essential.

Retool and enhance the experience of accessing medical care 

As we mentioned earlier, engaging members and supporting them through health and well-being offerings is essential – this also applies to formal medical care that employees seek out. The process of receiving this medical care needs to be intuitive and integrated with their health and well-being programs, unique to the information they provide, and easily accessed through an engagement platform.

While only a minority of employees will seek out formal medical care, this group accounts for a large percentage of total employer healthcare costs. As a result, organizations need to consider refashioning the care journeys of these individuals, entrusting them to a reliable provider that can supply them with the quality of care, access, experience, and cost outcomes they expect.

Conclusion: Understand Then Innovate

First and foremost, employers must begin to have a firmer understanding of their employees’ health wants, needs, fears, and preferences. Through thorough investigations of your employees’ population health preferences, their definition of health and well-being, their barriers, and their preferred methods of engagement, you can begin to provide offerings they love and use – providing for better health outcomes, and significant benefits to productivity and ROI.

Learn more about how we partner with companies to create well-being solutions that show their employees (and their families) that they care; in turn, driving performance and profits.

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