Healthcare seems to be evolving and moving in different directions to reach and motivate consumers and employees in new ways. A recent retail health summit co-hosted by Drug Store News highlighted several intersections healthcare is making into people’s lives.
Four Tips for Organizations to Grow in the Modern, Healthcare-Enhanced Environment
Here are four important takeaways employers should consider for growing their organization toward the future.
Be There on the Journey
The rise of consumer directed health plans means consumers are looking for ways to connect with providers and get information. Approximately 80% of patients begin their healthcare journey online. Physicians, health plans, prescription drug retailers and employers have an opportunity to meet and help customers along the way providing relevant solutions personalized to specific customer/employee needs.
Think Food and Exercise
Employers investing in wellness programs are on to something. Instead of Rx prescriptions for medicine some very new types of prescriptions are starting to be written such as the Exercise is Medicine initiative of the American College of Sports Medicine which provides Vermont doctors with scripts for outdoor exercise, which patients can redeem for a free day pass at all state parks. Additionally, 10 states offer the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program that enables physicians to write Rx scripts for low-income patients for fruits and vegetables to be redeemed at participating retailers and local farmers’ markets.
Build a Community
According to the AAPR one in four people over the age of 45 is chronically lonely. Loneliness is being deemed the new smoking. So employers wanting to make a difference, need to include wellness initiatives that create a sense of belonging and community. Particular attention needs to be paid to those with chronic health conditions as they are 50% more likely to also suffer from loneliness. Wellness programs must move toward targeting physical, mental and emotional dimensions.
Engage in Something Larger
Consumers want brands and products to help keep them healthy, according to Edelman Earned Brand Study. They expect companies, from healthcare providers (90%) to food and beverage makers (89%), and even banks (77%) to engage them in their healthcare. Consumers want to have a connection with the brand they are using. Similar to employees, who have been found to be more motivated to perform when they see their company engaging in societal issues, as shown in the 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer Survey.
It’s interesting the ways healthcare have integrated into consumers/employees daily lives in terms of where they get their information, how they shop, what they shop for, their need to belong to a community and desire to work for an organization striving to deliver socially acceptable/healthy products and services.
Source: Drugstorenews.com. Seven signs of the retail health revolution. September 2016. P6.