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7 Ways to Use Streaming Content in Your Health Communication, Part 1

In healthcare, engaging health consumers effectively is becoming increasingly complex. Health plans, providers, hospital systems, and pharmacies deploy various communication strategies – from emails and text messages to phone calls and live events – all to motivate health consumers toward better health decisions. However, the key to capturing attention and prompting action often lies in overcoming knowledge, skill, or motivation gaps. This is where streaming health education, a nuanced form of digital health content, emerges as a vital tool.

But getting someone to stop, pay attention, and act can be challenging. There are many barriers that stand in the way. When one or more of those barriers reflects knowledge, skill, or motivation gaps, streaming health education might supply the nudge that helps move them in the right direction.

Streaming health content, a sophisticated approach to health literacy, merges the strengths of digital content strategy, behavioral science, and instructional design to craft impactful learning experiences. It’s not just about delivering information; it’s about engaging health consumers through diverse formats like animated videos, interactive activities, and expert-led courses. This post delves into seven innovative ways healthcare organizations can harness streaming health content to drive critical health behaviors, starting with the captivating storytelling format of fotonovelas.

As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of digital health content, it’s clear that the right health content can educate and empower consumers, leading to better health outcomes and adherence to care plans.

Nudging your members to act with streaming health education

What is streaming health education? It’s our take on health literacy promotion. It borrows from the best of digital content strategy, behavior science, and instructional design to create powerful learning experiences for your members.

From short, animated videos and interactive activities to media-rich online lessons and courses taught by leading health experts, there are many different and innovative ways to create and provide content to your health consumers.

In this post, we break down 7 ways healthcare organizations can use digital health content in their engagement programs to drive essential health behaviors, starting with fotonovelas.

Use Fotonovelas to Encourage Flu Vaccinations

Over 3 million Americans get the flu yearly, and the cost to the healthcare system and society in general adds up to a whopping 11.2 billion dollars a year. This is a great reason to educate members on flu vaccinations, which can be done well through fotonovelas, which are character-based stories told through photos or illustrations.

Example of a flu fotonovela included in our flu vaccination solution where health consumers are educatedIn this flu fotonovela, which is one of the four included in our flu vaccination solution, health consumers are educated on why a flu shot matters and common barriers and misconceptions related to flu vaccination. At the end, they’re given an easy resource for scheduling their shot.

It’s ultimately a health literacy tool, but at the same time, it makes learning fun and easy. Behavioral Strategist, Eden Brownell, explained the reason for the success of fotonovelas on the Pharmacy Friends podcast. “The perceived effort is lower. You can provide a large amount of information in a large text message, or you can bundle it up into a fotonovela. [In a fotonovela] it’s broken up. They’re able to see the progression they’re making through the story, which provides them with a sense of accomplishment, and the way it’s being delivered feels easier. When people feel that something is easier, they’re more likely to like it.”

And we find that fotonovelas are certainly well-liked. 80% of learners on our platform report liking or loving the fotonovela content type.

Interactive Content to Promote Medication Adherence

20-30% of medication prescriptions are never filled. Almost 50% of prescriptions are not taken as prescribed. It’s hard for a medicine to work of you don’t take it.

But then again, it’s hard to get your members to abide by their medication regimen if you aren’t addressing barriers to compliance and educating them on the importance of medication adherence. That’s where our second content piece comes in.

Interactive content can do well to educate and motivate health consumers to follow through on their prescriptions. In this series of interactive activities, members gain important knowledge on why and how to follow this critically important part of their care plans – all easily integrated into med adherence and medication management campaigns.

When the member or patient arrives at the interactive content, they can decide which barrier or medication type applies to them and read through the information at their own pace skipping anything they don’t feel addresses their specific situation. And a program like this with content infused has been shown to increase refill rates by 14%!

Interactive health content example to educate and motivate health consumers to follow through on their prescriptions

Using Animations to Educate on the Proper Use of the ER

A recent study from UnitedHealth Group estimated that members going to the emergency room for non-emergencies costs the health system $32 billion annually. Ouch.

But a short video on the proper use of urgent care versus emergency rooms is an excellent example of utilizing animations to educate your health consumers. Able to be sent through text or email or placed on a website or portal, animations are a fun and engaging way to educate. This animation is a prime example of education leading to reduced cost and better healthcare decisions for both the member and the plan, and it’s also highly likely to get your members chuckling. Watch the below animation to see what we mean!

In Part 2…

Health content is aimed at driving healthy actions and educating someone on why those actions should be taken. It addresses health literacy at the same time as it enables plans and providers to reach their own goals.

In part 2, we’ll tackle the next four ways to integrate content into your outreach: lessons, expert-led courses, self-assessments, and stories.

2022 National Summit Recap: Scaled for Many, Tailored to One, Leveraging Data to Impact Member Engagement

We’re happy to announce our participation in the 2022 BCBS National Summit was a success! In early May, mPulse Mobile sent our strongest health engagement experts to The Orange State to attend and speak at the Summit, and they returned with valuable insights, new connections, and a reaffirmed belief in the power of health engagement designed for consumers.

Chris Nicholson, mPulse CEO, Magdalen Kmiec, Vice President of Engagement Strategy, Christian Bagge, National Account Executive, and Reva Sheehan, Director of Customer Insights, met and talked with leaders from many different Blues plans gathering stories from the front lines of healthcare and swapping viewpoints on the newest trends in healthcare engagement.

For us, the conference was a chance to meet with our current BCBS customers and have in-person discussions about their engagement programs and overall experiences with our platform. We also took the opportunity, however, to branch out and meet other BCBS leaders with whom we’ve not yet worked and have an exchange of information about our respective places in the healthcare space. These conversations gave us better insight into the landscape they’re navigating and confidence that the direction we’re taking for our customers is indeed the best course.

From Members to Consumers: Healthcare in the Digital Age

One reoccurring theme from our conversations at the summit was the age-old struggle to drive healthy action and meet requirements set by CMS, but many of these discussions showed the health industry could be looking at it all wrong. Magdalen Kmiec discussed this during our joint presentation with Aimee Viles, Vice President of Digital Solutions for Cambia Health, Scaled for Many, Tailored to One: Leveraging Data to Impact Member Engagement.

Her main message was that members are no longer just members. Our members live in an Amazon and Netflix world where their needs are anticipated and delivered on before they can even ask. Their digital and real world lives are now seamless and fluid. And they don’t shed these experiences and customer service expectations when they interact with their health plans.

Download our white paper, From Member to Consumers, to learn more about this phenomenon and how plans can adapt »

Yet the healthcare industry has not created that same experience for their health consumers – but they can. That’s where Magdalen overviewed the four essential pillars of engagement: rich customer data, channel optimization, empowering content, and robust behavioral science.

Rich Customer Data

Plans have rich data on file, but are they using it? From the results of the member’s most recent A1c test to the date of their last wellness exam, data can be harnessed to create a better experience.

Equally important, though, is to gain data through conversations with your members. Language preferences, sentiment toward the plan or program, social determinants of health (SDoH) factors, and more are valuable data points that can be added to the file for each member. Then your future conversations will become much more tailored.

Channel Optimization

Customer expectations are evolving rapidly, and our health consumers expect consistent, accurate, and timely information at their fingertips regardless of the channel they see it. Omnichannel is no longer a nice-to-have but a necessity to remain competitive.

The trick is to eliminate the silos between your channels and have them work together in a way that creates a single experience. So IVR, social media, SMS messaging, and streaming health content – it’s all working in sync to tell the same story.

Empowering Content

Low health literacy is a main driver of inaction. By delivering tailored, bite-sized streaming content in the moment based off insights gathered during conversational outreach, you are immediately addressing barriers and educating at the same time. Whether it by interactive stories, animations, or mini lessons to full courses, it gives the plan a chance to engage and empower in a more impactful way than can just be done by text message.

Robust Behavioral Science

There are two main questions for behavior change: Why would people want to do the behavior? Why aren’t they doing it already?

The ability to harness behavioral science , which tells us how people are likely to react and why, enables you to answer these questions and then leverage that information to drive behavior change. Put simply, people are irrational in predictable ways, so use that predicable irrationality to steer them in the direction of healthy behaviors. It’s the same methods used by companies like Amazon, Walmart, Target, and many other big major corporations – and it works.

Cambia Health: Gaps in Care and Rx Refill Program Outcomes

Cambia Health, our co-presenter at the summit and current client, is an ideal example of the members to consumers concept being effectively utilized, so Aimee joined Magdalen onstage to present two programs Cambia Health ran in partnership with mPulse Mobile.

The first was aimed at closing gaps in care for Cervical, Breast, and Colon Cancer screenings. Built on a foundation of behavioral science, the program outreached to 106,433 members across Commercial HCA, Commercial Non-HCA, Marketplace, and Medicare Advantage gather opt-in consent through SMS messaging (response required) before commencing.

Based on member reporting through this program, it was discovered the top 3 insights into why they weren’t completing the screening were:

  1. they already completing the screening
  2. they were too busy
  3. they thought the screenings were unnecessary

This is valuable information for a plan to have because it gives data with which to communicate further. For example, for those health consumers who think screenings are unnecessary, the plan could send streaming health content explaining the importance of the screening their missing (such as the breast cancer screening lesson you see below). And for those who already completed, the plan can use two-way SMS to collect more info on when or where that screening took place and amend their records.

The second program Aimee presented was an Rx Refill Engagement program with a 4-star goal for Part D medication adherence measures. This program included 48,980 MA members with active opt in and it was design as an interactive SMS program with conversational tailoring, follow up reminders, and barrier assessment. Refill rates with the solution were 85%, there was 72% positive feedback, and 20% of members requested additional reminders.

Looking Forward to More

We enjoyed the chance to join and network with all the Blues plans to discuss the future of healthcare engagement and how technology can play a huge role in it, and we can’t wait to return next year!