Cincinnati — March 5
Hummingbird Coaching Services has released a new online health site, MyHealthCoach.com, that shows prospective companies how they can harness the Internet to control health care costs and encourage healthy lifestyles among employees.
The adoption of wellness programs has grown exponentially in the last few years, as health care costs continue to rise.
Hummingbird’s new Web site provides companies investigating such programs well-documented information and resources to evaluate online coaching for such goals as weight management, blood pressure and cholesterol control, nutrition and smoking cessation.
In addition, MyHealthCoach.com provides quick links to key points within the content, videos explaining the online coach system and company philosophy, frequently asked questions and a detailed walk-through of the typical coaching process.
Hummingbird is a pioneer in online health coaching. Its proprietary online coaching system, developed by Dr. Neal Mayerson and Dr. Donna Mayerson, is built around the science of Positive Psychology and provides unique benefits over face-to-face and telephonic models.
Significantly, an online coaching relationship is more efficient and engaging than telephonic.
“The online relationship is streamlined for the coach and participant, eliminating phone tag in setting or keeping appointments,” said Sean Slovenski, co-founder and chief executive officer. “Participants often feel a sense of relief just sending an e-mail (or making journal entries) at any time, even if the coach’s response comes on the next business day. By composing an e-mail and putting their thoughts in writing, they can get to the heart of the question at hand.”
Such a unique contact strategy promotes participation, Slovenski added.
At their convenience, enrollees use technologies they know: live chat (IM), e-mail, online journal and activity logs and phone, if desired.
The ability for employees to connect frequently and conveniently with the coach facilitates a strong relationship.
Based on a health-risk analysis all clients take before entering the program, the coach initiates and tracks the client’s plans, providing ongoing support for lasting change.
This is a contrast with other services that provide only a limited question-and-answer format online or one to two calls per year.
Simply answering questions doesn’t necessarily move the employee to a successful outcome — or control or lower a company’s health care costs.
And because Hummingbird Coaching is on-demand, online enrollees receive an average of four contacts per month, compared with five to seven annually for the average telephonic participant.
Slovenski said more than 90 percent of the interactions between coaches and participants are through e-mail and journal features of the secure Web site.
This one-on-one communication provides similar strengths as face-to-face interaction.
Interaction is boiled down to the most meaningful information, as clients write and perhaps rewrite their thoughts to say what they really intend.
Both coach and client approach core issues more quickly than in telephonic sessions.
Features within Hummingbird’s proprietary software make the online counseling more directed and efficient, contributing to more controlled costs within wellness programs and more lasting change in the clients.
For instance, all client interaction and all the coach’s notes are automated to save hours of documentation per client.
Also, surveys and assessments that clients take at the beginning and throughout the engagement — either self-directed or assigned — help them learn more about themselves and assist coaches with data collection in order to help clients make true behavior change.
An independent analysis by a Fortune 500 company projected the use of Hummingbird’s coaching to account for a 23 percent decrease in their medical costs — an average annualized ROI of $5.50 for each dollar spent.
This enables Hummingbird to deliver online coaching services at a cost of 50 percent less than their competitors.
The anonymity of online coaching encourages more honest feedback and self-reporting, contributing to higher success rates.
Participants maintain an ongoing relationship with the same coach — not rotating as with many telephone models — increasing trust and accountability.