Timing is Everything
Parents and teachers are well aware of the value of a teachable moment – those often brief windows of opportunity when minds are really open to learning something.
For example, when checking out at the supermarket and getting too much change from the cashier, a parent could take advantage of the moment by pointing out the mistake and returning the money to the checker. By observing, the child will learn about honest and integrity – and the lesson is apt to resonate far more than any lectures or readings on the subject.
The struggle to engage members
Health plan leaders can use teachable moments as well. Consider the concept in terms of getting your members more engaged in their own healthcare. You may typically spend time and resources and spin many wheels when trying to get members to optimally care for their own health.
- Sending letters
- Employing nurses just to call members with healthcare advice
- Blast mass emails about important care topics such as immunizations, exercise and cancer screening
Sound familiar? The problem is these messages are often received at random moments and fall on ambivalent ears.
Teachable moments for members
Health portals do, however, enable you to truly take advantage of teachable moments.
When members are coming to a health plan portal, they are typically seeking information on eligibility, claims or providers. So, they have healthcare issues on their minds. Here’s where your health plan portal can use a splash screen or other messaging technique to remind them about important health issues.
It’s a great time to provide a teachable moment about a care issue such as the importance of an annual physical or simply the need to wash your hands during cold and flu season.
Teachable moments for providers
Similarly, health plans can also use their portals to take advantage of teachable moments with providers. When providers visit portals, they are typically doing so immediately prior to a patient visit to check on eligibility or other administrative matters.
Reminding them that a diabetic patient needs a blood glucose test immediately prior to that patient coming in can help ensure the patient actually receives the tests. This becomes a teachable moment – not at a random time when the provider is not honed in on the patient’s needs.
What do you want to teach visitors when they visit your portal?
By Dwight Klunzinger