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Point Solution Fatigue: What Is It and How Can You Avoid It in Your Organization?

Point solutions can help employers and health plans deliver a comprehensive, personalized, and holistic health and well-being program to employees and members. But, when there are too many point solutions, people can begin to experience “point solution fatigue.” This week we spend some time talking about point solutions and how you can ensure that what you’re offering participants meets their needs as well as those of the business.

What are point solutions?

Because health plans and even well-being programs can’t address every employee need, organizations often contract with vendors to provide what are known as “point solutions.” Point solutions can take the form of a standalone app or digital tool that employees access from their mobile phones or a desktop. Examples of point solutions include help for diabetes management, musculoskeletal health, or weight management programs. Point solutions can also address mental health, such as text/chat therapy, mindfulness/meditation programs, and programs to reduce stress and increase resilience. In short, they’re a convenient way for employers and health plans to fill gaps in the benefits they provide to employees or members.

What is point solution fatigue?

It’s estimated that 50% of organizations today offer access to between four and nine point solutions—some say this number can reach 12.1 While point solutions are great for ensuring that you’re providing the latest and greatest health and well-being benefits, when there are too many it can become confusing for participants to know where to go for what type of health care need. And this leads to point solution fatigue.

What are the risks in having too many point solutions?

The greatest risk is that participants might become so overwhelmed by the number of point solutions available that they abandon them altogether. But, perhaps most importantly, when participants must go to multiple apps for singular needs there is no sharing of information between apps, and each solution feels siloed and transactional versus holistic and outcomes-focused.

There are also risks to the business. From an administrative standpoint, you need the internal resources to juggle relationships with numerous vendors who only address one health care need. It’s also hard to track and measure overall improvements in employee well-being when results originate from various standalone solutions. And, of course, there’s the expense of vetting and contracting with numerous providers, not to mention software troubleshooting. Lastly, from a branding perspective, when there’s no consistent look and feel across well-being solutions, you lose that sense of cohesion in your program.

How can you be smart about the point solutions you offer?

Here are some tips:

  • If you’re an employer, work with your health plan(s) to understand the specific health care needs of your population to help prioritize which concerns to address. Then segment your population so people receive information only about point solutions they’re likely to use.
  • Since four in 10 adults in the U.S. are managing two or more chronic conditions, try to select solutions that can offer support in multiple areas of health.2
  • Before signing on with a new vendor, do some due diligence to ensure that this kind of support isn’t already provided by an existing vendor.
  • Understand how point solution vendors will communicate with employees and coordinate outreach among vendors so participants don’t feel bombarded with messages.
  • Consider creating a microsite or well-being hub on your intranet homepage to offer a one-stop shop point of access to all your well-being solutions.
  • Constantly reevaluate point solutions to determine whether they’re still relevant and in line with your employee engagement strategy. Health care and your employees’ needs are changing all the time, so you don’t want offerings to become stagnant.

Can well-being programs help solve the point solution fatigue problem?

We believe that having a comprehensive well-being platform – one that can assess participants’ current health and provide an array of personalized lifestyle and condition management solutions, daily habits programs, wellness challenges, social connections, and rewards and incentives – can help to eliminate the need for multiple standalone vendors.

But we do acknowledge that sometimes external vendors are necessary to get important programs and services to participants. For example, though we currently offer stress coaching specialists – and will soon have mental health coaching specialists – we recognize that if someone needs very specific mental health help or support, we’ll need to refer the participant to a client’s EAP or a health plan’s behavioral health services. The same is true for support for financial wellness, caregiving for an aging parent, and pain management.

That said, we are judicious about the point solutions we do add to our platform. We take care not to add multiple point solution vendors in one category because we vet and ensure we are offering the best. We think this is the best way to offer employees and members what they need while making the experience as seamless and user-friendly as possible.

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In summary, our strategic partnerships, services, and solutions empower organizations to create a well-rounded program that gives people the personalized tools and resources they need to achieve real results, without overloading them. If you’d like to learn more, please visit our website or contact us at connect@webmd.net.

 

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