What is a Clinical Health Coach?
The Clinical Health Coach is a trained healthcare professional committed to serving patients and healthcare organizations by using population health processes and techniques. They are professionals who value patients as an untapped resource in healthcare and who are devoted to the practice of team care, the active use of community resources and the tenets of the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH).
Clinical Health Coaches are behavior change specialists who know how to partner with patients to identify health goals that put them on the road to confident self-management of their chronic condition(s). They are also care management facilitators who reinforce the best practices of the healthcare provider with patient-centered resources to improve health, reduce risk and achieve the most desirable outcomes for their patients.
The Clinical Health Coach training online program uses the extensive experience that the Iowa Chronic Care Consortium has accumulated over years of onsite training sessions to create a curriculum ideally suited to the clinical setting. As such, the Clinical Health Coach is trained to pay particular focus on patients with chronic conditions, engaging and activating them so they can successfully self-manage their care once they walk out the door of the healthcare provider. By using Clinical Health Coach practices, patients leave confident and assured that they have their own achievable health plan of action that matches their interests, their values and their culture.
Why Become One?
As a healthcare professional, you are keenly aware of the challenges faced by the organization you serve: fragmented care, limited physician time, patients and families facing complex medical decisions with little limited understanding, and pressure to deliver better care or face stiff payment penalties. Healthcare reform is demanding enormous changes, and requiring extensive “re-tooling” of the care delivery process. The focus is now on patient-centered care that is proactive, holistic, and recognizes the patient as the greatest untapped resource in healthcare.
However, what is often missing is someone trained with an effective set of skills who can directly address these challenges as opportunities. And since only about 10% of healthcare takes place in a clinical setting, it is critical to have trained professionals with proven skills and tested processes to drive improved patient outcomes. Having staff equipped with coaching skills that effectively engage and activate patients translates into sustained accountability and adherence after they leave the hospital, the clinic, or the office.
It is the Clinical Health Coach, a new role in healthcare, who successfully transforms the conversation between the healthcare professional and the patient. This new Clinical Health Coach also transforms the care processes through evidence-based population health strategies and preventative care to achieve better health, better healthcare, and lower cost for every patient.