So, you have or are planning an on-site clinic. How will you make sure employees use it?
This is the question every HR administrator asks when their new clinic opens. It's an important one to answer. Here's why:
- People are set in their ways, especially when it comes to healthcare.
- People have been taught to use the healthcare system as a last resort. Most people don't go to the doctor until they're already sick.
- Going to the doctor is a hassle filled with paperwork and long wait times.
- Life is busy.
Here are five proven tactics we've used to maximize clinic usage and start employees down the road to a healthier life.
1) Offer A Meaningful Incentive To Increase Clinic Usage
Habits are hard to break. When asking your employees to change their healthcare routine, you must make the change worthwhile.
Our clients with the most meaningful financial incentives have the highest patient engagement. The result? Healthier employees and a more cost-effective clinic. Everybody wins. The incentive can be a pure cash incentive or some other type of reward. We've found that cash works best.
It turns out that sometimes you need to pay people to do what's best for them. Once they've caught the vision for preventive medicine, they'll continue to use the clinic on their own.
2) Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
People are busy. You'll need to communicate early and often to get them to come to the clinic. There are two keys to remember here: frequency and variety.
Let's tackle frequency first. It isn't enough to send one email, make one announcement, or send out one postcard. Most people need to hear a message at least six times before they actually comprehend it. Also, no one will see every promotional message. If it feels like you're over communicating, keep it up. You're likely beginning to make progress.
Next, let's talk about variety. Each of your employees will consume information in a different way. So, make sure you use all the means available to you. Here are a few to consider:
- Paycheck inserts
- Bulletin boards
- Department meetings
- Mailers to spouses and dependents
3) Take Clinic Services Mobile
There's no hard-and-fast rule that an employee's first experience with the clinic needs to be in the clinic. Meeting employees in the midst of their normal routine will make them more likely to engage.
Flu shots are one of the best ways to bring the clinic team to your employees. Once they've had a positive experience with engaging providers, they are far more likely to go to the clinic the next time they have a health issue.
4) Respond Quickly To Needs
Nothing turns people off more about a convenient service than inconvenience. After your clinic has been open for a while, take some time to consider what services are in high demand. Then, discuss with the clinic staff how you could provide those services faster, or better.
One of our clients has a very stressed employee population. They were utilizing health coaching so much that there was a long wait time. By bringing in additional health coaches, we were able to reduce the delay significantly.
Guess what happened? Higher utilization of health coaching increased clinic usage overall.
5) Don't Overthink Your Clinic Promotion
It's tempting to include every detail in your clinic promotions. One of the most common mistakes is to obscure the call-to-action for people to come into the clinic with details and legal info. These types of promotion rarely, if ever, work.
Think like a marketer. Focus on one simple action in promotions. Employees can learn all the important details when they come into the clinic for the first time.
Simple and straightforward works best. Communicate the benefits of the clinic to employees and implement the ideas we’ve shared in this post. Before you know it, your clinic will be full.