Population Health Strategy at Work: 3 Steps to Reach Adults with Diabetes

by | Sep 15, 2016 | Service Line Growth

Find out how you can employ the principles of population health strategy to reach an underserved but surprisingly large segment of American communities: people with undiagnosed diabetes.

In a health­care era that pri­or­i­tizes val­ue over vol­ume, con­tent mar­ket­ing strate­gies that empha­size well­ness have become increas­ing­ly impor­tant. The CDC esti­mates that more than 34 mil­lion Amer­i­cans have dia­betes, and near­ly three times that amount have pre­di­a­betes. Dia­betes, espe­cial­ly dia­betes that isn’t well con­trolled, can have a major impact on patients—and health systems.

Here’s how dia­betes takes a toll on health­care resources:

  • The Amer­i­can Dia­betes Asso­ci­a­tion reveals that dia­betes and pre­di­a­betes cost the Amer­i­can health sys­tem $322 bil­lion a year.
  • Between 2009 and 2010, 37.3 mil­lion peo­ple vis­it­ed an emer­gency depart­ment or doctor’s office with a pri­ma­ry diag­no­sis of dia­betes, accord­ing to a table of data com­piled by nation­al orga­ni­za­tions, includ­ing the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Prevention.
  • The aver­age hos­pi­tal stay for dia­betes-relat­ed com­pli­ca­tions is 4.6 days, accord­ing to the 2010 Nation­al Hos­pi­tal Dis­charge Survey.

What does this mean for health­care mar­keters? Using audi­ence seg­men­ta­tion to iden­ti­fy peo­ple who are at risk for undi­ag­nosed dia­betes and devel­op­ing rel­e­vant con­tent designed to edu­cate this group not only fos­ters engage­ment and builds brand aware­ness. It also leads to health­i­er communities—a key pop­u­la­tion health strat­e­gy focus—and results in cost sav­ings for health sys­tems. Patients receive the right lev­el of care and are less like­ly to vis­it the emer­gency department.

Get start­ed on your cam­paign with this step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Harness the power of your customer relationship management (CRM) software.

CRM soft­ware is one of the most impor­tant tech tools for dig­i­tal mar­keters. These plat­forms com­pile a wealth of data about physi­cians, patients, and com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers who aren’t patients (yet) and store this data into their search­able data­bas­es. Avail­able data typ­i­cal­ly includes basic demo­graph­ic infor­ma­tion, such as age, gen­der, and eth­nic­i­ty, as well as infor­ma­tion about health con­di­tions, dai­ly habits, and pre­scrip­tion and over-the-counter drug usage.

Sim­ply put, CRM soft­ware allows mar­keters to iden­ti­fy com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers at risk for health prob­lems, includ­ing dia­betes, heart dis­ease, and cer­tain types of can­cers. It enables them to then send spot-on mes­sages to the most appro­pri­ate audi­ence. Use the query list cre­at­ed by your CRM to iden­ti­fy the right peo­ple to enroll in your dig­i­tal and/or mixed media campaign.

Step 2: Say ‘Hello’ to your target audience.

Once you’ve iden­ti­fied com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers using CRM who are at risk for undi­ag­nosed dia­betes, you’re ready to craft your mes­sage. Devel­op­ing a patient per­sona can help at this stage. Peo­ple who are at great­est risk for devel­op­ing undi­ag­nosed dia­betes are typ­i­cal­ly younger men who make a low­er income.

Con­sid­er this exam­ple: Bill is a 45-year-old who has vis­it­ed a pri­ma­ry care physi­cian affil­i­at­ed with your orga­ni­za­tion in the past, but he hasn’t been to the doc­tor in sev­er­al years. Bill is over­weight and has a fam­i­ly his­to­ry of dia­betes. But he feels fine, so see­ing a doc­tor isn’t high on his list of priorities.

Step 3: let population health strategy drive your messaging.

Con­tent that res­onates with com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers like Bill will focus on edu­ca­tion. Peo­ple in cir­cum­stances sim­i­lar to Bill’s may not real­ize that even though they feel fine, they are at risk for dia­betes. Cre­at­ing a dig­i­tal cam­paign that sends prospects to a microsite devot­ed to dia­betes edu­ca­tion can pro­vide the tools peo­ple need to man­age their health. Microsite arti­cles can dis­cuss symp­toms and risk fac­tors. An assess­ment can also allow vis­i­tors to eval­u­ate their per­son­al risk for the dis­ease. Make sure to include with the assess­ment an option for users to enter their email address, as well as a track­able phone num­ber they can call to sched­ule an appoint­ment with a provider.

If the assess­ment reveals users are at high risk for dia­betes, they will be more like­ly to call to sched­ule an appoint­ment with a pri­ma­ry care provider for a blood glu­cose screening.

You can now work on con­tin­u­ing your rela­tion­ship with indi­vid­u­als, not sim­ply demo­graph­ics. Send auto­mat­ed reminders when it’s time for their annu­al well­ness exams and repeat screen­ing. Invite new­ly engaged patients to events or edu­ca­tion­al class­es that focus on dia­betes. You’ll build brand loy­al­ty and help ensure that the con­di­tion is man­aged appro­pri­ate­ly, pre­vent­ing cost­ly hos­pi­tal visits.

Ready to Make an Impact?

Let’s explore ways True North can help engage con­sumers in your community.

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