Physical Medicine @ Facebook Practice

Physical medicine is an important part of our integrated primary care offering. At Facebook, it’s a key driver in the ongoing growth of our health center.

Crossover Health brings a holistic and integrated approach to the definition and delivery of care to its members and their employers. We believe that treating ailments as opposed to the whole person does little to address the employee’s desire to live a healthy life or the employer’s objective of investing in a healthier workforce. Our care delivery model integrates a broad array of sub-specialties into the heart of our primary care model, including a focus on physical medicine.

The Facebook employee demographic informed our view early on that physical medicine would be an essential service to offer from the Practice. It was recognized that the young and desk-bound workforce would have a high incidence of issues because of the amount of time spent in front of computers. But we weren’t expecting that the physical medicine services would drive the growth of the health center itself.

Physical Medicine Goes Viral

The manager of our Physical Medicine team at the Facebook Practice, Daniel Lord DC, actually started seeing Facebook employees for chiropractic appointments before our new health center opened. When our prime Hacker Square location (right at the heart of the Facebook campus in Menlo Park) finally opened in August of 2012, the physical medicine team graduated from treating patients in a storage closet to a curtained two bay space. By this time, the service compliments being generated on the internal Facebook wiki sent the service viral. Not only were the 3,000 employees hearing about the excellent care, but they heard over and over how awesome the experience was. It seemed like the whole campus wanted an appointment.

Within weeks, planning began to expand to a much larger and better equipped physical medicine clinic, while still maintaining is integral continuity with the health center. Facebook realized that the investment in physical medicine would pay significant dividends in healthier and happier employees and also supported the addition of professionals such as an acupuncturist and physical therapists. 400 additional square feet were added in July 2013, with an additional 1,200 sq ft opening in February 2014. This newest expansion includes a very large open space rehab area, making it possible to practice “modern” physical medicine – using functional exercise, teaching patients self maintenance strategies and building stronger cores. An evidence-based care plan includes getting people from passive to active care as soon as possible. Finding the movement pattern that takes pain away is what empowers a patient and motivates them to continue working between visits.

Physical Medicine as Brand Strategy

Why did Physical Medicine work so well? Why are the tough-to-please employees at Facebook so happy with our Physical Medicine team and services? How is the team effectively managing high demand while maintaining a great experiences?

Dr. Lord is the first to credit the entire team of care givers at the Facebook Practice. They’re high-level practitioners, willing to try new things and work collaboratively, with deep integration with the medical providers and extended care team. The ability to approach each employee holistically and utilize all the health center resources was also revelatory for professionals coming from a fee-for-service world. Finally, the location of the health center within the Facebook campus proved to be an essential ingredient to success, raising the visibility and profile of the center, while making access to the right care incredibly easy.

But there’s was even more to it than that—in the process of their growth, the team was able to maintain their commitment to care while allowing the Crossover Health brand promise to guide their evolving work. Crossover’s brand is, at its core, all about giving people the tools and motivation to change their behaviors and engage more deeply in their own health. Care happens between visits because the patient is leading it, supported by passionate care gives who inspire.

This is why the physical medicine team at Facebook also moved beyond traditional passive therapies to develop evidence based tools and strategies designed to help people keep moving on their own. In essence, its a philosophy that enables the team to see 15 people for 5 visits each, rather than 5 people for 15 visits, with the same or better outcomes. But it is not just care efficiencies the team is going for, but rather employees who are empowered to accelerate and drive their own improvement.

And it’s only the beginning. The physical medicine team has also initiated a “Grand Rounds” process to cement the idea of integrated care and learning at the Facebook Practice. And, aware of his tech-savvy patients, Dr Lord and the team will be integrating everything from more frequent and valuable messaging to adopting a suite of cool tools like wearable posture monitors that link back to the employee’s own Crossover One logbook. It’s all designed to give them even more reasons to take charge of their bodies and take ownership of their health.