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3 tips to educate your employees about unnecessary medical imaging

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Sophia Lee
By Sophia Lee on July 10, 2018

Sophia is on the communications team at Amino, where she helps share industry perspectives. Connect with Sophia Lee on LinkedIn

When it comes to educating employees about healthcare, it can feel like throwing random ideas at a wall to see what sticks — a frustrating experience for both benefits leaders and employees alike.  

Frequently, the problem is that healthcare education campaigns are too broad or too generic. Saying that healthcare is expensive and urging employees to shop around simply doesn't motivate them to take action. That's why we collected three tips to help you focus on a specific area of spending — in this case, imaging.

Tip #1: Get specific.

The more details you share in your education campaign, the more real the healthcare spending problem will feel to employees.

Let's say you did a claims analysis on your imaging costs and identified “hot spots” — areas where your healthcare spending is disproportionately high, which can be caused by employee demographics, behavior, or local cost variation.

You can use these "hot spots" as the pillar of your education campaign. For instance, we found in an ROI analysis for a large, nationwide employer that certain regions have procedure-specific overspend. Specifically, we found that their Dallas and Boston employees tend to overspend on MRIs. With data-driven details like this, you can create a targeted campaign for employees in those locations about MRI cost variance to make them aware of the problem, then provide a tool like Amino to help them find the lowest cost, highest quality imaging. This provides enough context and tangible next steps to motivate them to act.

Tip #2: Invest in your audience.

You have to know your audience which, in this case, are your employees. Without a clear grasp of what their pain points are, what motivates them, and how to reach them, the resources you spend on education campaigns will go to waste.

Ask yourself questions that go deeper than surface level: how much do my employees know about imaging costs? How do they feel about our current healthcare education efforts?  What type of conditions are most commonly leading to people getting imaging procedures? The answer to some of these questions may require digging into your healthcare data. Others will require in-person conversations with your employees. This may seem like a lot of work, but it’s an important investment if you want an impactful education program.

Tip #3: Use existing resources.

Fortunately, there are tons of existing organizations and campaigns that produce helpful resources to complement your education program. One of those campaigns is Choosing Wisely by ABIM Foundation, which seeks to advance a national dialogue on avoiding unnecessary medical tests, treatments and procedures — such as imaging. Costs of Care is also a fantastic non-profit organization that sources, curates, and disseminates knowledge from patients and frontline clinicians to help health systems deliver better care at lower cost.

You can use the information these organizations and campaigns provide to add credibility to your existing campaigns, help shape the message of your education program, or even use their publicly available materials as the foundation for any collateral you’re creating.

While this post is specific to imaging procedures, you can easily apply these tips to any other aspect of healthcare education. For even more helpful information about imaging costs, download our guide below.

 

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