In 2014, Consumer Reports partnered with IBM to help educate its employees about Choosing Wisely® and the importance of clinician/patient conversations aimed at avoiding unnecessary care. This joint effort consisted of a short educational video. Based on the successes at IBM, staff at Consumer Reports decided to expand the video into multiple segments and an entire toolkit called “Making Healthy Choices.” In addition to the four short video segments, it includes web-based materials and a smartphone app. Consumer Reports then worked with additional companies around the country to test the toolkit in pilot programs. One of those companies, Maine-based naval shipyard General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW), focused specifically on sharing the videos with its workforce of over 6,000.
Michelle Probert, Manager of Integrated Health Services for BIW, said that staff at regional health improvement collaborative and Choosing Wisely grantee Maine Quality Counts, informed her of the Making Healthy Choices toolset.
“We were excited about the opportunity to introduce employees to Making Healthy Choices to help them become informed health care consumers and to embolden them to ask their doctors questions,” Probert said. “Choosing Wisely information is already integrated into our transparency tool, Healthcare Bluebook, and the videos fit seamlessly into our employee-facing wellness site and learning management system.”
BIW used a multifaceted approach to get the word out about the Making Heathy Choices videos, including e-mails, employee service announcements and advertisements on 11 digital billboards around the shipyard. The company also has nine health coaches across its locations who helped promote the videos and distributed “When to say ‘whoa’ to your doctor” handouts to coach participants.
During the month-long campaign in July 2015, over 1,100 employees viewed the four video segments and completed an online feedback survey. Post-viewing survey feedback showed that many of the videos’ messages resonated with employees. Originally planned as a one-month campaign, employee feedback led BIW to extend the availability of the videos indefinitely and consider a follow-up campaign in the future to attract new viewers.
To continue the momentum generated by this campaign, BIW health coaches have met with staff at Maine Quality Counts to explore efforts to educate BIW’s employees about the Choosing Wisely recommendations related to low back pain management, whether the issue is connected to the worksite or not.
“We have been in touch with [Consumer Reports] to develop handouts that are easy for our work population to pick up and understand on-the-go, and are collaborating to turn the content we used on digital billboards into printouts that employees can take home and share,” Probert said. “Our efforts to incorporate Choosing Wisely into worksite wellness programs were successful because we turned the rollout into an event, held a raffle for those who took part, made the resources easily accessible, and reiterated that tool was free and created by a trusted nonprofit organization.”
Following summer pilot initiatives, in September 2015 Consumer Reports rolled out Making Healthy Choices to their partner network through a webinar. The toolset continues to generate views and downloads, with more than 4,600 unique visits since its launch. For information about Making Healthy Choices, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.