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Engagement: Why It Matters, How to Measure It, and How to Use It to Drive Outcomes

Alexandra Drane (Eliza Corporation)

This historic upheaval that the healthcare industry is facing offers great opportunity to leverage “big data” in ways that feel relevant and engaging for individuals – including the millions of Americans who will be new to the health insurance market. To help these folks better understand and navigate the consumer-facing Exchange market, the healthcare system needs to play by consumer-facing rules. How will these new members use their benefits? What will it take to change their behavior? Which ones will be easy to retain, and which might be more apt to leave? We’ll discuss how the healthcare industry can position itself to answer these questions – and gain actionable insights – by building consumer profiles that understand:
• Who consumers are at their core based on segmentation profiles generated through individual interactions
• How likely consumers are to act in desired ways
• How much capacity consumers have to make better health and healthcare choices based on life context issues

Data has proven what we know in our gut – consumers are not the sum of our collective clinical data points, they are individuals with health, family and life dimensions – all of which need to be considered to reach true engagement and effect positive change in healthcare. The understanding of health must move beyond traditional clinical measures – height, weight, temperature, blood pressure – to consider the “life context” that surrounds the pounds, inches and degrees. We must expand the definition of health to include the life-context conditions that make people vulnerable, because these life-context conditions are preventing people from being their healthiest, most productive, most resilient selves, and as a result they’re significantly impacting the healthcare continuum’s bottom line – and, most importantly, individual lives.

Photo of Alexandra Drane

Alexandra Drane

Eliza Corporation

As a founder, chief visionary officer and chair of the board at Eliza Corporation, the pioneer and recognized leader in Health Engagement Management, Alexandra Drane has proven herself as a visionary, whose ideas on using technology to engage people in their health – and her belief in adding a touch of joy to the often staid world of healthcare communications – have been adopted by the nation’s top healthcare organizations, with resulting outcomes such as:

• Increasing the rate of childhood immunizations in underserved areas by 30 percent over a three-year period (This project was acknowledged at the Center for Disease Control’s 41st National Immunization Conference in March, 2007 for the Most Improved Award for Urban Areas)
• Saving health plan members $11 million over the course of 18 months through proactive outreach that notified members of less expensive prescription drug alternatives
• Increasing the number of hypertensive members “in control” of their blood pressure by 56 percent
• Increasing antidepressant medication adherence by 16 percent over a 90-day period
• Increasing colon cancer screening rates by 66 percent in a commercial population and by 137 percent in a Medicare population
• Increasing participation in on-line smoking cessation programs four-fold, and more than doubling participation in on-line weight management and stress management programs

Alexandra also has channeled her passion for engaging people in potentially difficult health-related conversations into another cause she feels strongly about—communicating end-of-life wishes with loved ones. In October 2008, Alexandra co-founded Engage with Grace, a not-for-profit movement that has proven to be a safe place for individuals looking for information, support, and guidance about end-of-life discussions. Since its launch, through only viral grassroots promotions, Engage with Grace has been added to the healthcare lexicon as a top-ten phrase and is credited with establishing the first-ever Blog Rally to increase awareness and build community. In 2010, Alexandra co-founded a non-profit, web-based movement called SeduceHealth that aims to reframe how the healthcare industry communicates with the people it serves by adding greater passion, joy, and inspiration.

Alexandra holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Tufts University, where she graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Alexandra sits on the Board of Eliza, the Board of Advisors of TEDMED, the Harvard Executive Sleep Council, and is Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (a Harvard Teaching Hospital) in Boston, MA. She also sits on the Board of Directors of the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC) and co-chairs C-TAC’s Public Engagement Workgroup. Alexandra is a member of the Health Executive Leadership Network, Women Business Leaders of the U.S. Health Care Industry Foundation, and is a trustee of several charitable trusts.

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