Member and patient health is a continuous state, not just an outcome based on a single point of care. How you measure your health action programs should be built on the same core principle. Too often health plans and providers only measure the endgame—increased member or patient health action, better health outcomes, improved Medicare Star Ratings, and customer satisfaction.
But there’s a glaring problem with only measuring these components. It’s quite possible you could overlook that your program may actually be in grave trouble. If you wait until the results are in, you’ll never know how the individual components are actually performing. And if there’s a problem, it’s too late to fix it.
This is where using key performance indicators, or KPIs come in. KPIs are the building blocks that measure the steps or activities that lead to success along the way as your program is running. Wouldn’t it be better to fix a known problem mid-program if it meant better health outcomes for members and patients and higher reimbursements and ratings for you in the end? It’s a no-brainer.
Here’s how it works. KPIs report the performance of individual metrics throughout the course of the program. This gives you the agility and flexibility to adjust your approach before a problem occurs. Incorporating KPIs into your data analysis activities also helps predict and fine tune program strategies for better results in the future.
Think of it like measuring your heart rate during a run, rather than just your final race time. In fact, that analogy helps explain why they’re called performance indicators.
Health engagement outreach may look like an episodic series of events—but it’s actually continuous. Engagement methods should encourage members and patients to take control of their own health and confidently take action to improve it, which is certainly ongoing. The same can be said of health action. Meaningful health action KPIs should reflect that ongoing nature.
Here are 5 common KPIs to maximize your health action program’s performance:
KPI #1—Averaged Required Touch Points
The number of touch points needed to gain a response is a great way to measure not only the method you’re using, but the message and timing of the communication. Although generational preferences can help direct an integrated health action strategy, every segment has unique characteristics and preferences. As the world becomes more and more digitally oriented, adoption of new technologies and channels happens more quickly across generations.
Review the number of touch points in any given program. A high number of touch points may mean you need to try alternative methods and could be a flag for potential member and patient abrasion. A low number could mean you’ve landed on a strong new tactic for reaching a particular segment, one you can test in other segments, and use in ongoing or future programs as well.
KPI #2—Incentive Redemption
Rewards and incentives like low-cost coupon books and gift cards cards have proven effective not just for continued engagement beyond enrollment, but getting people to complete specific health actions. Measuring the redemption of these incentives as programs progress can help you understand how your members and patients are motivated by different rewards.
Adopting an A/B test strategy similar to those in email marketing can provide even more data about how, when, and where people engage with specific incentives targeted just for them.
KPI #3—Content Absorption
Education is an important factor in healthcare consumerism. Members and patients want to be empowered by strong informational content in order to building confidence, make more informed decisions, and ultimately take more meaningful health action. KPIs for content can include traffic-oriented statistics like downloads, page reads, emails, and other data found mainly within Google Analytics.
In addition, you can measure things that show how your members and patients are engaging with your content. This might include anything from the length of time on a page to the flow from your content to more critical sections of your portal or website. Knowing your program KPIs is important, but this information can also help you map out specific, individual journeys as well.
KPI #4—Portal Engagement
This KPI isn’t about whether someone is reading your content, but about how well your members and patients are using and engaging with your specific portal. Interestingly, every generation surveyed has consistently given portals high marks, so reviewing portal engagement metrics will provide you with meaningful information. This could also include tracking statistics in terms of engagement with a native app, if your segment includes a lot of digital natives.
KPI #5—Email Analytics
Even if they’re a smaller component of your integrated marketing strategy, email analytics can tell you a lot about how people are engaging with your email content and messaging. Low open numbers or minimal click throughs can either be a sign that your message isn’t resonating or the method is ineffective. Sometimes it also means that you’re using email too soon in the process. Without employing a test and learn attitude, you’ll never know what works best for different segments.
An integrated strategy requires linking tactics like email to others, such as a public relations campaign or some other broader outreach.
As you start implementing this type of iterative measurement, your team will want to develop their own KPIs. Custom KPIs are effective particularly when you have highly specific, targeted member and patient objectives.
Unlike an automobile, a health action program is a machine you can tune while it’s operating. An optimized program running at peak performance levels is far more likely to produce the results you want. But ultimately, measuring health action program KPIs isn’t about health plans, providers, or outreach methods. It’s about member and patient experience.
In the end, good KPIs lead the way to better, more meaningful health action.