Nationwide survey uncovers opportunities for health care organizations to drive better flu outcomes
BEVERLY, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Eliza Corporation – the pioneer and recognized leader in Health Engagement Management solutions – today announced the results of a national survey of more than 1,200 individuals on public perception and behavior around flu vaccinations. Accompanying the results is an Eliza infographic, which illustrates opportunities for employers, health plans and health care providers to increase vaccination rates in their populations through more targeted and meaningful messaging. The infographic, survey methodology and full summary of the results are available at http://www.elizacorp.com/flu.
Seasonal influenza is highly disruptive and life-threatening, affecting 24.7 million people and responsible for more than 44 million lost work days. It is a leading cause of death and hospitalizations and costs the U.S. economy up to $90 billion each year, including more than $10 billion in direct medical costs (U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, 2004). And of course at the personal level, nobody enjoys suffering from the flu. Widespread vaccination remains a challenge, with less than half of recommended adults vaccinated during the 2009-2010 flu season (RAND Corporation, 2010).
Key findings from the Eliza survey include:
- 46% of respondents said they think the flu shot can cause the flu.
- 49% of respondents said they’re concerned about flu vaccine safety.
- Employers who provide flu shots increase the likelihood that someone will get their vaccination by 48%.
- Respondents who prefer to get their health information from their physician reported that they are most likely to get the vaccine, while those who prefer to search online for health information are the least likely.
- 59% of respondents said they plan to get the vaccine this year.
- Those who said they don’t intend to get the shot tend to be younger, male and without caregiving responsibilities.
“Getting a flu shot is a critical part of taking care of yourself – and our obsession is figuring out how to make the flu shot something people actively want to do for their health,” said Alexandra Drane, president and co-founder of Eliza Corporation. “Over the last ten years we’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t when your goal is increasing flu shot rates – things like tailoring the message by socio-demographics or by what makes people ‘tick.’ Combine that with some of these fresh survey findings – such as the surprising number of people who believe that the shot can actually cause the flu – and you can really influence behavior and drive outcomes.”
In response to these findings, Eliza recommends that employers, providers and health care organizations consider a number of tactics to drive flu vaccinations, including:
- Focusing on factual messages, not fearful ones, when talking about guidelines, recommendations and the impact of the flu.
- Directly addressing myths and misconceptions about the flu, since knowing that the vaccine does not cause the flu doubles the rate of intent to get the shot.
- Uncovering the behavioral triggers of why people do or do not get the vaccine and tailor flu messages accordingly to drive behavior
- Holding onsite flu clinics or providing options and flexibility for employees who lose pay when taking time off to get vaccinated, therefore removing a significant barrier to vaccination.
- Educating physicians and providing them with resources so they are better equipped to handle patient concerns and fears about the flu as well as the vaccine itself.
- Using behavioral economics approaches – such as helping people understand the potential impact of lost pay or having to catch up on missed work if they’re forced to stay home with the flu – to encourage them to get their flu shot.
When designing the survey, Eliza leveraged its depth of experience from its more than 500 million interactions with people about their health. Survey questions probed on intent, barriers to action and message preferences around the flu shot. The survey also tested several flu shot related messages – many of which are approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – for the level of comfort they instilled in survey respondents. More than 1,200 adults from across the country completed the phone-based survey in the month of July.
Eliza Corporation is the pioneer and recognized leader in health engagement management, blending technology, communication expertise and data analytics to drive healthy behavior change. Drawing from more than 500 million interactions with consumers about their health, Eliza makes health and healthcare information more accessible, more actionable and more engaging. Each program is powered by Eliza’s patented speech recognition technology, rich web and multi-modal delivery platform (including automated calls, emails, text messages, mail, and social media interactions), population profile analysis, and Continuity of Care Record (CCR) capabilities. These programs consistently yield the best outcomes in the industry in terms of improved engagement, health and wellness measures, and measurable, sustainable ROI.
Eliza’s customers include the nation’s leading health plans, disease management firms, pharmaceutical companies, pharmacy benefit managers and employers. The results of Eliza’s programs have been recognized by organizations including the Centers for Prevention and Disease Control, the BlueCross BlueShield Association, URAC, Entrepreneur magazine, The Consumer Directed Health Care Congress and Harvard Medical School. Eliza is privately-held; for more information, please visit www.elizacorp.com.
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Waggener Edstrom Worldwide
Melissa O’Dowd, 617-234-4109
KEYWORDS: United States North America Massachusetts
INDUSTRY KEYWORDS: Seniors Health Hospitals Pharmaceutical Other Health Consumer Family General Health