6 Important Steps to Guiding Your Members Through a Health Crisis
In the midst of a serious healthcare crisis, our ability to connect and support one another is critical. Your members look to you as a voice of reason, authority, and expertise as they guard their health and prepare for any care that they or their loved ones may need.
The arrival of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has likely sparked an influx of member activity and interactions. Making sure that your members know about your platform and how to use it, empowers them to make safe and smart choices about their healthcare, and may also provide them peace of mind.
In an effort to provide support during a chaotic time, we’d like to share some steps you can take to care for your members. We are here to help you ensure that you can continue to support them digitally, reducing the need for in-person exposure while reserving call center resources for your most vulnerable members.
Below are six ways to support your members during a crisis using your engagement platform.
Leverage Your Portal
Does your portal have a custom URL? If not, now is a good time to create one. The easier it is for members to find your portal the more likely they are to utilize its available tools and resources. It’s the difference between www.yourportalname.com and www.secure.healthx.com/thisisahealthxportal.
Once you have a custom URL make sure that your members are aware of it using your existing communication channels—hold messages, social media, and direct mail—to share it. And be sure to promote useful capabilities it offers such as requesting an ID card, submitting secure forms, or setting up a telemedicine appointment.
Welcome page content
While your members are logging in to your portal you have their undivided attention. Use this to include a message about how your organization is responding to the crisis and working to support them. It’s also the perfect place to post any valuable information you can share to support members, not requiring a secure login.
Once a member is logged in to their account you can push them directly to specific content, FAQs, actions, or contact information with splash screens.
For example, if you have created a document giving information about local facilities and providers who are doing COVID-19 testing, use a splash screen to immediately direct your members to that information.
The most important thing that you can do with your portal is to make sure that you are providing meaningful information that helps members make informed decisions about their health.
Today’s members are experiencing information overload—your page should be a source of truth and stability. Post content, FAQs, lists, directions, contact information, etc. that inform and empower members.
Now more than ever you should be proactively communicating with your members. We’ve already discussed making sure that they know how to access your portal and what they’ll find there, but you should also be utilizing direct communication to engage with them on an individual basis, and ensuring that your platform serves all members via multi-language translation capabilities.
Realize that members are likely receiving a lot of emails right now, and you want to be sure to cut through the noise with vital healthcare information. We recommend that you not solely rely on email to send secure, outbound messages. Use text messaging and app push notifications, as well to communicate directly, and drive them to specific resources you offer.
Make Sure Members Can Receive Care
If a member doesn’t have a PCP, then they may be thinking about getting one now. You can use your platform’s tools–portal, text messaging, or your mobile app–to communicate with members about finding an in-network PCP who is accepting new patients.
And remember that telemedicine can be a viable option in many cases, since virtual care supports social distancing. If you’ve implemented telemedicine capabilities, be sure to use your platform to remind members and to encourage them to schedule appointments this way when appropriate.
Ease Financial Worries
With every health crisis comes financial concerns. Remember that your members are also worried about their financial health. They are looking to you to provide as much information about the cost of testing and treatment as you possibly can.
Use your platform to post and communicate information as it’s determined and made available. And if you’ve implemented Cost Transparency, you can direct members to this resource on your portal.
Set Your Call Center Up for Success
Your platform should be the first, and hopefully last stop for most members. If you’ve made it easy to access and navigate, and populated it with the tools and resources that your members need, it can be a source of great comfort and value to them during this crisis.
And if the majority of your members receive the information that they need via your platform, then your call center services can be reserved for the members who need them most—those who are most likely to get sick, are sick, or caring for someone who is.
For those members who need to call, if you’ve implemented the CRM connector, your customer service representatives will have access to relevant information, member data, and administrative tools, including the ability to trigger a follow-up with members, to ensure they are well informed and cared for throughout this time.
We are In This Together
If you would like help implementing any of the capabilities mentioned above, please reach out to your Healthx Customer Experience Analyst or visit HxConnect, an online community where we can continue to learn from one other using resources, conversation, and best practices. If you use the single sign-on service through your Healthx administrator account to access HxConnect and you would like to log in directly, select the “Forgot your password?” link and follow the instructions.
We also welcome you to join the conversation with us on Twitter @Healthx #bewell where we will post data and information as it becomes available.