Employee wellness programs are the focus of PATH, which uses a database-driven website by Bluehouse Group to serve employers and employees.  Thousands of employees use the site to participate in employer sponsored programs and contests that encourage fitness and health. 

PATH came to Bluehouse when they began to outgrow their first attempt at an online system.  They needed a system that could evolve and grow as they added new clients.  They were looking for a partner with creativity to help them create a compelling user experience, and they needed a company with strong technical expertise to help them manage large volumes of data.

The Challenges

  • Designing a user interface that works smoothly for every participant, without needing training.
  • Letting each employer manage its own wellness programs according to its own preferences.
  • Showing each participant a website that looks like it is uniquely designed by their employer, with the employer's branding.
  • Creating a platform that is technically robust, with a solid database that is reliable and scalable.
  • Providing security for all users of the system, so confidential health information is safeguarded.
  • Adding features continuously over time, while maintaining the stability and reliability of the system in constant use.

The Work

Bluehouse Group started by doing a requirements analysis.  We made sure that we understood the goals and future direction of PATH.  We then created a solution architecture that incorporated innovative features, a new interface design, and a carefully crafted database. 

To build the solution, Bluehouse chose to use PHP and MySQL— "open-source" software tools that are powerful, popular, and license-free.  To assure the most engaging user experience, we used AJAX and Flash in selected areas.

A few of the features include:

  • Password protected and encrypted website;
  • Encrypted database containing users' health information, HIPPA compliant;
  • Multiple levels of user permissions and administrator privileges;
  • Animated graphs;
  • Dashboard displays for users and administrators;
  • Extensive reporting;
  • Single sign-on users gets access to the employers' health insurance and HR related websites (via Bluehouse custom integration).

Some snippets of the PATH interface that help guide users to better health. View Larger

The Results

The PATH online wellness platform:

  • Has allowed PATH to increase participating employees by over 100% per year;
  • Has reduced support requirements;
  • Has increased participant engagement by adding community features and competitive options;
  • Has been able to evolve with each new employer's unique needs;

Bluehouse Group continues to work closely with PATH, providing design, development and support.