June is Men's Health Month, an annual observance that encourages men and their families to prioritize health and healthy habits and raises awareness about men’s health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States die on average five years earlier than women and at higher rates than women from the three leading causes of death—heart disease, cancer, and unintentional injuries.
This lack of male patient engagement also translates into more disease burden during life, with men falling ill at a younger age and having more chronic illnesses than women. Additionally, men have a higher propensity for a wide range of illnesses, including aortic aneurysms, emphysema, gout, kidney stones, and more.
Given that male patients are often unengaged in their health, Men's Health Month provides a platform to help men make healthy behavior changes. Here are three patient engagement strategies to engage men in their health.
Develop Multi-Channel Outreach Campaigns
To help male patients take action, you first need to educate them on the importance of being engaged in their health. Utilize multi-channel outreach that focuses on preventive care and health awareness. One way is by sending important self-care tips and facts via text and/or email.
For example, you could include information such as the benefits of physical activity and, tips for reducing stress or even allow patients to self-register for upcoming classes and events via text or email. Another option is to include this type of information in a monthly newsletter that is emailed to all your male patients.
In addition, utilize appointment reminders to encourage male patients to seek regular checkups, screening tests, and immunizations. Include information on how certain diseases and conditions may not have symptoms and how checkups can help identify issues early on.
And don't forget to also create social media campaigns around men's health, especially during Men's Health Awareness Month in June. Invite your social media followers to engage with you by posting their selfies wearing blue and using the hashtag #ShowUsYourBlue.
You can also create social media posts that educate your followers on the statistics of men's health to create awareness. For example, your post could say, "Did you know that men in the United States die on average five years earlier than women do? June is Men's Health Awareness Month. Now is the perfect time to schedule an annual wellness visit for yourself or remind the men in your lives to."
Delivering the right message at the right time and in the right channel will yield greater conversions. With our Communication & Reminders patient outreach solution, we can customize communications to optimize patient engagement with the right blend of content, channel, and cadence to drive appropriate patient actions and adherence to treatment plans.
Promote Educational Offerings and Classes
Your health system likely offers patient education programs around various health issues--such as testicular and prostate cancer, cardiovascular disease, skin cancer, lung cancer, diabetes, gout, and more—that are relevant for male patients. But how many men attend these?
It's important to tailor outreach for your classes and events based on your male patients' interests. For instance, tying into big sporting events such as March Madness, the Super Bowl, the World Series, and the World Cup could better entice men to sign up.
For example, consider hosting a sports-themed tournament where men can create teams and sign up to compete against each other. Not only is this fun, but you can take the opportunity to also educate and encourage men to continue to stay active.
To further maximize attendance of your classes and events, consider offering virtual or hybrid programs. In fact, Optum's study "How Gender and Work Site Impact Employee Engagement" found that when asked about what prevents you from taking steps to lead a healthier life, 50% of men cited work demands as a limiting factor.
Finally, choose a week to offer free preventive health screenings to men. Partner with local businesses that men frequent or, even better, offer the screenings in their places of work. The more convenient you make their access to healthcare, the more likely they will engage.
With our Health & Wellness Campaigns, we can help ensure your patients attend appointments and receive necessary care such as preventative care screenings, wellness visits, vaccines, disease-specific, and general education programs.
Make Scheduling An Appointment Easy
Since men are less engaged in their care than women, you need to ensure it's easy for men to find the right physician and the right venue of care at the right time. Utilize an online scheduling solution that allows male patients to schedule their appointments online at their convenience. With busy schedules and a lack of patient engagement, online scheduling makes it easy for men to convert at the time of intent.
Start by incorporating third-party validation and reviews into your campaigns. By highlighting your hospital's successes, you can help men engender confidence and feel more at ease with your system. Discuss success rates, quality awards, and technology capabilities that relate to a procedure they may need.
Our Reputation Management solution helps providers and healthcare organizations enrich their digital presence to ensure patients have all the information they need to make informed decisions when choosing providers.
According to a government survey, 28% of men in the U.S. do not have a primary care physician. Knowing this, you should ask your male patients that enter your facility if they have a PCP or not. If they don't, take the time to follow up via email, text, or phone call and gain their commitment to a broader range of care within your health system.
Don't forget to utilize online scheduling for virtual appointments too. Offering the convenience of a virtual visit can ensure that your male patients have every opportunity to schedule an appointment, no matter their schedule.
However, you must utilize virtual visits for the correct appointment type, such as general health, follow-up visits, and sharing testing results. If your male patients prefer a mix of in-person and virtual visits, set up a hybrid care appointment schedule.
Our Intelligent Scheduling solution offers robust physician search capabilities, including the ability to search by location, appointment type, insurance accepted, appointment date or time range, as well as toggle between list and map view to see where providers are located visually.
Driving patient engagement in male patients is critical to their overall health. While Men's Health Awareness Month presents the opportunity to engage your male patients, improving men's health outcomes should always be a priority for your health system. To learn how your health organization can efficiently and effectively acquire patients and direct them to the right provider and venue of care at the right time., download our guide "12 Strategies to Optimize Your Patient Scheduling Experience."