Care providers are the primary means of promoting health coaching at Mercy Clinics. "Most of our promotion activities occurred within the office practice itself to the other members of the health care team—the doctors, mid-level providers, and nursing staff," Taylor says. "We encourage them to refer patients they identify as needing additional support to us, and because we are right there in the clinic, we can begin working with them immediately."
Mercy Clinics does a great job of explaining its health coach program on its homepage and a dedicated web page. The dedicated page intertwines details about health coaching with a case study of a diabetic patient who had trouble managing her blood sugar.
"Health coach Monica Vail, RN, helped [the patient] set goals—such as planning her diet and incorporating exercise into her daily routine and they continue to meet to discuss challenges and to help her remain focused," the page reads.
Explaining the value of health coaching in such an engaging way helps patients become more open to the idea, which, as the practice becomes more common, should lead to improved outcomes.
"Health coaching helps to empower consumers to become more accountable for their health status," Buckley says. "This is critical as we move toward accountable care organizations and population health management, where providers are paid not for how many procedures they perform, but for how they do in keeping patient populations healthy."