Now that you and the patient have a HOPE list, the hard work begins. It’s critical to connect the patient’s priorities and health goals to medical advice, and offer support in implementing the changes.
Health coaching and regular check-ins are key. Here are some strategies to provide the regular check-ins that patients need to progress toward their health goals:
• Health coaching. A health coach can follow up by phone or via telehealth to help patients overcome daily challenges and support them for success. Health or well coaching are a distinct set of skills different from expert advice that might be provided by a physician, nutritionist or fitness coach. See the AMA’s resource: “Implementing Health Coaching” from Thomas Bodenheimer, MD, MPH, of the UCSF Center for Excellence in Primary Care
• Group visits. These are an excellent option for patients with chronic conditions, providing them with peer support and team learning. They may also be reimbursable.
• Technology assists. Encourage patients to use apps and tracking devices that can provide insight into their progress. Increasingly sophisticated technologies are interacting with patients for behavior change and direct, not-drug treatments.
• Education. Provide resources, tools, and links applicable to the individual patient’s situation.