Integrating Health Coaches
Lifestyle is widely recognized as the most critical factor in many chronic illnesses like hypertension or diabetes. In the current clinic-centric model for sick care, it is unfair to ask clinicians to treat conditions with pharmaceuticals or procedures alone. Today’s clinicians and their patients need additional help which can come from integrating health coaches into the clinical practice… and perhaps transform sick care into on-going healthcare.
The responsibility of health coaching will be increasingly placed on clinicians, according to Melinda Huffman, BSN, MSN, CCNS, CHC, the co-founder of the National Society of Health Coaches (NSHC). At NSHC, Huffman and her team develop best practices for health coaches across the country who are responsible for supporting patients as they undergo lifestyle changes geared toward improving their overall wellness. Those lifestyle changes can include picking up a healthier diet, beginning an exercise regimen, or quitting smoking, for example. And while those duties have long been delegated to health coaches – non-clinical workers to help motivate and track the progress of patients working on lifestyle changes – it is high time that clinicians integrate health coaching into their clinical practices, as well. “You can’t separate wellness from the health or health conditions of a patient or an individual,” Huffman said in a recent interview with PatientEngagementHIT.com.Source: patientengagementhit.com