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Employee Wellness Portals: Choosing the Operating System for your Wellness Program - eBook Transcript

Choosing the Right Platform

As an employee wellness provider, you're in business to improve the health of your participants. The right wellness platform becomes the tool your people use, every day, to deliver great programs and results for clients.

What if you choose the wrong wellness platform, or no platform at all? Your wellness coordinators will be frustrated, trying to do their jobs without a full set of tools. Your presentations to the clients will be short on data and results. And it will be harder to grow your business.

Choosing the right wellness platform is a critical decision for any wellness business. This eBook is your guide to asking the right questions and making the right choice

Biometric Screenings

Make sure your portal offers a secure, HIPAA compliant scheduler that ensures participants are eligible before they can schedule a screening, and sends customized reminders with instructions.

At the welcome desk, your system should let you check participants into the system based on the registration list. The welcome desk should be able to see if the participant has done the HRA before seeing the screener.

Make sure your portal lets your screeners input data into the portal live – with no data stored on tablets or laptops. Make sure the portal shows screeners the participants' HRA answers, so they can counsel on topics like smoking and exercise.

Make sure your portal lets you add specific questions or requirements for each employer – instead of a rigid question set.

Top Quality HRA

Not all Health Risk Assessments are the same. Ask if your portal offers a well-researched HRA that's validated against claims data.

Manages Physician Visits

If you have participants going to their primary care physician for wellness visits, screening followup, or incentive appeals – make sure your portal can help manage the process

A portal that includes a Physician's Office App can make the process more tailored and intuitive than a one-size-fits all paper form.

An App can show the physician the screening biometrics, allow the physician to sign off on incentive exceptions, collect biometrics without paper forms and faxes, and drive USPSTF preventive services compliance.

An App can also lets participants scan in and upload lab reports, EOB's and other documents needed to show they have completed preventive services and meet biometric outcomes.

Apps and Wearables

If you want real results from your lifestyle programs, you need accurate and automatic measurement of participants' steps.

Look for a portal that includes its own integrated steps App. Then you'll never have to figure out why a consumer App isn't syncing with the portal, and you'll never worry about mixed messages and advertising from consumer apps.

Make sure your portal's App can go beyond steps – using the phone's camera to capture validated weight & nutrition data as well.

It's predicted that 85% of US working adults will have smartphones by the end of 2015– so it doesn't make sense to buy tracking devices that duplicate what the phone can do.

Since only 10% of US adults have a fitness tracking device, you can't depend on participants to bring their own tracker.

Engaging & Social Challenge Programs

Make sure your portal can do engaging and social Team Challenge programs for topics like physical activity, weight management, nutrition, stress and sleep.

Ask if the Challenges run via App & mobile web, and not just on the portal's website.

The portal should let you create attractive HTML and graphics emails based on pre-made templates, and schedule the system to send them to the right list of people at the right time.

Make sure you can customize the programs for your wellness company or employer – differentiated programs are a key selling point with clients.

Tools for Health Coaches

The portal should give your coaches a way to document coaching sessions and coaching notes, send secure messages, set goals, and review participants' HRA, biometrics and tracking data.

The portal should give coaches a robust library of MD-reviewed health content that coaches can use with participants in the early stages of change.

It should also include a variety of self-directed programs that coaches can assign to participants in the action stage.

Ask if your portal supports face to face coaching using participants' smartphones or tablets.

This new approach provides a better quality coaching experience with no more cost that telephonic coaching.

Outcome Incentives & Alternatives

Your portal should support a variety of outcome incentives and alternatives for those who don't meet the initial standard.

The portal should allow participants to submit incentive alternative requests along with doctor's notes and other documentation. It should give your wellness staff a workflow to ask questions and make decisions, storing all messages for compliance and audit purposes. The portal needs to accept updated biometrics and automatically calculate whether the participant has met a biometric improvement goal.

If the alternatives include coaching, onsite or online programs, the system should automatically credit each participant who completes the alternative program options.

Tailored "To Do" Lists for Participants

It's critical to make the wellness program easy to understand for each participant. But how do you show participants a step-by-step “to-do” list when the process changes based on their biometrics, start date, point level or other factors?

Your portal should let you, using a simple word-processor like interface. Then, it should let you add “live” graphics showing the participant's completion of each step, requirement, alternative or combination in your client's unique process.

In other words, the portal should make sure each participant knows what to do, when and how to do it, and where they are in the process at all times.

Customize It Yourself

You work with clients to design unique, customized employee wellness programs – so you understand exactly how each program is supposed to work. A user-friendly portal should let you customize each client's configuration yourself through an intuitive website.

Make sure your wellness portal allows you to easily create pages and upload files and other content – to explain the program to the participants. Make sure you have the ability to set up the incentive structure, and change dates and requirements yourself as the client's needs evolve.

Make sure you can create and schedule communications to targeted lists of your participants.

The right portal puts you in the driver's seat, so you're never waiting on a vendor to make changes, run reports, or launch a program.

Responsive Team

You're the one that has to take the tough questions from your clients – so you need a portal vendor that's responsive and able to help you deliver what the client wants.

Make sure you talk to references and read case studies. See what others are saying about the portal vendor and their responsiveness.

Anyone can say they deliver good service – find out if they really do. You simply can't afford to work with a portal vendor that's hard to reach, unable to accommodate requests, or doesn't deliver a reliable website.

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