Communicating Health and Healthcare Quality Information to Consumers
The Client is a nationally recognized non-profit group made up of over 50 individual employer organizations including health plans, physician groups, hospitals, government, manufacturer, and service sector employers that work together to improve the value of healthcare in Maine.
The Client had built an impressive reputation for collegiality and collaboration in having developed an exceptional data collection and reporting system to measure both healthcare quality and cost in the state. In 2005, the Client realized that the data was only useful if healthcare consumers utilized the information, and they selected Crescendo Consulting Group to help develop a multifaceted communications campaign to reach out to consumers. The Client recognized that the 175,000 employees and families of member organizations needed guidance and tools to better understand the importance of healthcare quality, education and motivation to make more informed decisions about their health and healthcare.
Over multiple years, Crescendo and the Client established a toolkit of employer-based healthcare consumer communications that assist employees in developing the knowledge and behaviors needed to take an effective, active role in their healthcare, including choosing healthcare based on quality and value.
A key element to the success of the program rested on the recognition that each employer organization had varying channels through which to distribute information and that employees would need to receive the messages in a variety of ways. As such, Crescendo created a variety of print, online, and in-person interventions that could be customized by each organization. The range of materials included email blasts, newsletters, brochures, wallet cards, posters, videos, and training sessions, all including recurring themes to reinforce the key messages.
To help ensure the success of the program, Crescendo also created a monthly “user group” in which member organizations have the opportunity to collaborate and share best practices. Crescendo also conducted regular, one-on-one sessions with individual members to gather feedback and gauge program effectiveness.
Participation has grown steadily since the program’s inception and an increasing number of members have become actively engaged. The progress of the project is measured continually to determine member participation, employee awareness, and most importantly, behavioral change. To help measure the latter, Crescendo conducts an annual consumer healthcare opinion survey, and year-over-year comparison suggests positive changes in key behaviors within the target populations.