As a result of their relationship with Consumer Reports, Castlight Health is bringing the Choosing Wisely recommendations to thousands of people each month — at the moment they’re making health care decisions. Early feedback indicates that online reminders about the campaign have prompted Castlight users to engage in conversations with their physicians about which tests and treatments may or may not be necessary for them.
Founded in 2008, Castlight offers a cloud-based technology platform to large self-insured employers to help companies better understand and manage their enterprise health care spending and help employees and their families make more informed medical decisions. Castlight’s service allows patients to search for information about providers, services and procedures, and also displays information such as how much a medical service may cost, detailed quality information and patient satisfaction ratings. The information is customized for the user based upon which health insurance plan an employee has selected and ties in to employers’ existing benefit programs.
Inspired by the ideals of Choosing Wisely, in 2012 Castlight began looking at how to incorporate campaign recommendations into its platform. Less than two years later, the company unveiled a new design of its software platform, which included 46 Choosing Wisely recommendations about commonly overused tests and procedures that providers and patients should question.
When an individual searches the Castlight database/system for information on certain procedures or conditions, such as allergy testing or back pain, Castlight presents them with the corresponding Choosing Wisely patient-friendly materials developed by Consumer Reports via a “Did you know?” alert that pops up on the screen. Thousands of people view this accessible and relevant content each month.
“We are presenting the materials at the moment of decision-making—when people are choosing providers and researching procedures,” said Gabriella Rosen Kellerman, MD, Senior Manager of Clinical Design with Castlight. “We did user testing to determine the right time and way to introduce Choosing Wisely recommendations. The campaign has made the company think about other opportunities to expand our educational content on the site.”
Castlight recently surveyed users and found that many were influenced by their experiences with the platform, including taking action to engage in discussions with their health care provider about not pursuing a certain course of treatment.
Castlight’s platform now includes more than 60 search terms that link users to Choosing Wisely materials. The company is planning to expand that number soon and is tracking use and measuring outcomes in several areas, including looking at differences before and after Choosing Wisely content was incorporated into the system.
“We continuously look at how people are using Castlight’s Enterprise Healthcare Cloud so we can constantly refine it to better meet their needs,” said Jennifer Schneider, MD, MS, Chief Medical Officer for Castlight. “Expanding the Castlight platform with the Choosing Wisely information is just one example of how we’re constantly improving the platform to help people make smart medical choices.”