Whew! After months of deliberation and some last-minute panic, we have arrived at a new beginning. We decided to part ways with WebMD and since February have been engaged in a rigorous effort to choose a new program vendor. Finally, we chose StayWell.
We feel good about the opportunity before us and are aware that the stakes are high. The program touches 17,000 people a year. A good implementation will reinvigorate the program. A bad implementation may make people disengage in frustration, merely going through the motions to get the gold incentive instead of really getting something out of it to improve their health.
Seven vendors bid on our business and we took two into final negotiations. It was a complicated choice that balanced many things:
- Whose tools were simplest to use.
- Whose online portal gave people the information they need (what do I need to get gold, how much have I done and how much do I still have to do).
- Who was most of top of the technical side so the user experience would feel smooth instead of clunky.
- Who built their platform on solid scientific evidence of health improvement and behavior change.
- Who offered us the most flexibility to integrate outside individual action plans (our data has shown very high satisfaction with non-WebMD online individual action plans like Text For Well-Being, the Parks Fitness Challenge and the new diabetes programs.)
We’re looking to create that little bit of magic that helps people “flip the switch” on their health. We all know what it feels like. There’s a clarity of vision, a certainty in purpose and the motivation to make changes in our lives. If we can make the program operate seamlessly, people won’t be distracted by how it works. They can find the purpose and enjoy the results.
That’s what drives us. Behind the operations, the cost savings, the labor negotiations and the promotions we do is the belief that we can help people live a better life. A life off of medication, free of the worry of pending chronic disease and lived in pursuit of what people love – whether it’s a hike in the mountains, time with family or travel.
So welcome to our wild ride! Thanks for taking an interest in how we’re going to do this. We welcome your thoughts and insights as we share the dilemmas that face us.