Survey: Health Coach Training May Improve Patient Engagement

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Eighty-eight percent of professionals trained in health coaching reported an increased ability to engage patients as a result of the training, according to a report by the Iowa Chronic Care Consortium.

Health coaching, which is often part of a medical practice's transformation to a patient-centered medical home, "is the process by which primary care clinicians help patients gain the knowledge, skills, tools and confidence to become active participants in their care so that they can reach their self-identified health goals," according to the report.

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The report, "Health Coaching: Transforming Conversations and Care Practices," shares results of a January 2013 survey of graduates of the Iowa Chronic Care Consortium's clinical health coach training program. Of 164 respondents, nearly 83 percent were registered nurses, but many other roles were represented, including social workers, physicians and healthcare administrators, among others.

Here are some key findings from the survey:

•    73 percent of respondents said they function as a health coach on only a part-time basis.
•    Only 11 percent of respondents reported that their organization provides a pay differential for the health coach position.
•    Barriers to health coaches' full utilization include efforts to build support for the position (55 percent of respondents) and the fact that other work is given higher priority (48 percent of respondents).
•    88 percent agree or strongly agree they are better able to engage the patient and focus and guide the conversation toward talk about changing behaviors.
•    67 percent of the respondents agree or strongly agree that their own job satisfaction and effectiveness have increased following training.
•    59 percent of respondents agree or strongly agree communication has improved within the clinic care team.
•    55 percent of respondents agree or strongly agree that patients are better able to manage their overall health.

More Articles on Patient Engagement:

5 Lessons on Consumer Engagement From Aligning Forces for Quality
Addressing the Empty Seat at the Healthcare IT Table: Next Steps in Patient Engagement

10 Reasons to Include Community Input in Medical Staff Planning

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