Last week, the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchasers hosted a two-day summit that covered topics related to mental health and wellbeing for employers – two topics that are at the forefront of discussions across many industries, employee groups and human resources professionals nationwide.

In just one of countless valuable discussions and presentations from the event, Rishi Manchanda, M.D. MPH, President of HealthBegins, shared the following allegory:

Three men stood on the bank of a river. As they watch the river rush by, they notice people in the water – flailing and trying to fight the currents to swim back upstream before they’re pushed over a waterfall. All three men leap into action.

The first man, a strong swimmer, immediately jumped into the water and began swimming towards people and helping them swim to shore.

The second man, noticing a raft nearby, grabs it, throws it in the water and begins paddling around the area, helping the people into the boat and towards the shore.

The third man starts running along the shore upstream. The first two men, who are working tirelessly question him, “What are you doing? Where are you going?”

The third man responds, “I’m going to go find out why all these people are in the water.” 

Though a popular allegory for problem-solving in several industries, the story does a good job of illustrating the role of wellness and wellbeing – specifically analytics – in the healthcare journey. The first man represents the medical specialist, the second man represents the professionals who take care of people’s health on a regular basis, and the third man, he represents the role of wellbeing programs, and most specifically, the role of analytics.

With siloed solutions to manage healthcare costs an abundant issue, analytics is a specific tool that can help identify issues and target specific problems; for the third man – why people were in the river in the first place. And with those issues and problems found, the opportunity to design a wellbeing program that works best for your team, solving your team’s specific problems, whether that’s high blood pressure or Type 2 Diabetes, is a reality.

Just like the third man, when he arrives upstream, sees an overturned boat, can work to stem the problem at its source, rather than farther down the river, where, in some cases, it may be too late.


DHS Group’s HealthSpective Analyze is a powerful application that helps you understand both your company’s health and health spending as a whole – giving you the opportunity to work to optimize your investment in your healthcare and wellness solutions.

Additionally, Analyze is the only population health analytics tool that features an integrated member engagement tool – HealthSpective Engage – that, when paired together, eliminates siloed healthcare solutions to provide both positive population health outcomes and cost savings. Schedule a brief call with our team to learn more.