Connecting and engaging providers

4 min read

The Art of Provider Engagement

Written by

Jennie Byrne, MD, PhD

Belong Health is only as good as our ability to understand, to empathize with, and to inform the wide range of healthcare providers we serve. Every day, we help make their work more welcoming, more efficient, and more effective for those communities who need it most.

Our not-so-secret weapon? Many of our own experts are medical practitioners themselves — doctors who know the complex realities of healthcare because they’ve managed practices, prescribed solutions, and performed surgical procedures. 

For each of us at Belong, provider engagement means nurturing trusted relationships among medical professionals. It means measuring and refining the outcomes of those relationships — between Belong Health, healthcare providers, and patients — to keep all processes operating at their best, for the benefit of everyone.

In essence, provider engagement is the heartbeat of our work. 

It’s a state of being, not an isolated behavior. It’s a mutual sense of comfort that stems from an intimate understanding of the services, operational systems, pressures, and costs that providers navigate every day.

Here’s how Belong Health shapes, and evaluates, those crucial provider engagements.

Best Behavior

Much of our work at Belong Health is fueled by a deep interest in behavioral science: an analysis of key influences that drive a person’s decision-making. Driven by this fascination with what makes people tick, we encourage and build upon positive key behaviors that indicate great provider engagement. Behaviors such as:

  • Providers ask probing and meaningful follow-up questions. They seek to understand the data we present, not simply to note it and set it aside. 
  • Providers regularly pick up the phone when we call — because they’re eager to address whatever member issues are at hand.
  • Providers willingly join in when we hold interdisciplinary meetings between Belong Health care management teams and members.
  • Providers increase the volume of annual wellness visits among Belong members, as our engagements continue.

When these key behaviors are in play, we know strong relationships are forming between providers, Belong Health, and the communities we all serve. And we know the best is yet to come.

Our Methodology

As much as we love to engage with asynchronous video tools and online resources, we know there’s no substitute for sitting with a colleague, in person, eye-to-eye, and in the space where they do their best work.

That’s how we aim to engage, as often as possible — and, thankfully, we’ve got teams of local experts around the country who can assess each clinic and help make that valuable in-person connection a reality. With their hands-on support, we assess--

The mood of the space. The attentiveness of the staff. The humanity of the healthcare process.

Things that can’t be conveyed on a piece of paper or through a webcam. Intangibles that can be known only by physically sharing space — by seeing how things are run, meeting the community members being served, and more fully understanding the doctors’ daily experiences.

Community Aid 

As we gather and assess information, our provider engagement strategy leans into the reality that medical professionals are inherently driven to help, to collaborate, and to heal.

Drawing from an expansive ACO REACH network, and under the guidance of our extraordinary physician leadership that carries impressive clinical experience of their own, we provide resources that simply can’t be found in local health plans or local offices.

For example: with the help of our Belong Health leadership, many of whom have accumulated several months of certified behavioral science training, we’ve engineered solutions to questions such as:

  • How can I reduce cognitive overload and make referrals to top cardiologists a frictionless, second-nature experience for my staff?
  • How can I utilize my own calendar to help members proactively schedule and attend wellness visits to improve health outcomes?

    Learn more about Behavioral Design

Whatever the challenge, Belong Health regularly brings together physicians, nurses, and physicians’ assistants at massive scale to share best practices, nationwide. Then, that knowledge is localized and specified with a precise, community-oriented touch.

The results of this work are always thrilling — especially as it nourishes a community of experts who are deepening their knowledge every day, and who are truly leading the way as the future of healthcare unfolds.

The Ideal Engagement

We want our data and experience to enrich the work of talented providers, to grow their capabilities, and to seamlessly connect them with other gifted physicians and experts.

Ideally, with each provider engagement, we are welcomed into a true cadence of connection — not just via a one-time visit or phone call, but as a semi-regular occurrence that feeds from a mutual curiosity and an excitement for healthcare.

(And if there’s lack of clarity around the data we’ve uncovered, we simply can’t wait to explore and explain it, as well as all of the insights and solutions it may offer.)

Time and again, with our data and insights at their fingertips, providers uncover more about their own practice than they’d ever known or even suspected. They’re able to recognize patterns or discrepancies among their doctors and staff that may just transform the effectiveness of their clinic and their work.

With valuable collaboration, and without judgment, Belong Health is there as support at every step, burnishing each practice and clinic to unlock its greatest potential.

That’s provider engagement in its truest and most promising sense.

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