Patient Engagement starts with Employee Engagement

Imagine if health system employees were so knowledgeable about your patient engagement initiatives that they become walking, talking advertisements.  In order to break through the personal health noise and get patients to engage in self-care, you must leverage your most powerful communication vehicle: your staff.

Atlantic Health System of northern New Jersey, one of Axial’s largest clients, partnered with us in order to help engage their patients in ongoing self-care and to boost the brand recognition of each of AtlanticHealth's five hospitals. Our team worked with them to bring their vision to life, launching five separate apps to promote each hospital’s unique assets.  We also worked with them to create a completely new offering, a sixth app specifically for internal distribution amongst their 12,000 employees. The app focuses on managing health, employee benefits, and internal communication.  We suspected that, given the right ammunition, these 12,000 staffers would become incredibly strong advocates for mHealth.

Understanding the value of engaging their employees, their marketing team focused on utilizing numerous internal communication channels to promote their apps, including:

  • An intranet which served as a great platform to tell stories about the health benefits of the apps
  • Shout outs and small blurbs in newsletters to provide a deeper explanation of core functionality
  • Social media accounts to help create buzz and a viral footprint
  • Several landing pages and a smart banner pop-up on their mobile homepage to drive traffic to the app stores

The combination of their efforts resulted in an extremely successful launch and by the end of the second month after go-live, Atlantic Health System showed a reach rate three times higher than our standard Q1 goal! [*]  This indicates that their patients are more aware of this offering because of the large level of employee engagement.

This type of commitment demonstrates that internal staffers are one of the best patient engagement resources available to health systems.  The beauty of this approach is that everyone wins: the staff is more engaged in their own health, resulting in higher awareness among patients, resulting in improved outcomes for the health system. The results clearly show patient engagement starts best with employee engagement.  There is no better way to maximize the return on your investment than by starting with your employees.

[*] We measure reach as a percentage of your number of downloads divided by your monthly inpatient discharges