Health coaches are an integral part of managing chronic disease and are an invaluable asset as we move from volume based medicine to value based medicine in America. As in most complex industries just as it is in medicine the quality of the work done, safety and outcomes is dependent upon more than the efforts of one individual.
Health coaches are part of today’s healthcare team as they use their skills to assist the physician in providing healthcare in a manner that accomplishes the triple aim of improving quality, increasing patient satisfaction and lowering costs. This is done through patient education, maintaining and using patient registries in order to monitor chronic disease, and providing a link between the patient and healthcare delivery.
We have health coaches in the hospital to do the hand off to their primary care physician as they communicate with both the patient and their families and the office based health coaches. Through electronic registries the health coaches can monitor and reach out to those patients with chronic disease in a proactive fashion to prevent emergency visits and hospitalizations thus providing not only excellent care but also improving patient satisfaction while lowering healthcare costs.
Steve Eckstat, DO
Director, Mercy Clinics