Primary Care and the Health Coach
Many times, a primary care physician's patient needs a lot more time and hands-on attention than they can normally provide. When it comes to chronic and autoimmune diseases the patient needs counseling in areas such as diet and medication administration. That's where a health coach and the physician can partner. A health coach is already out in the community and can assist patients more in making decisions concerning their health care. A health coach can normally be found at the local community center or library giving health seminars or making personal visits for one-on-one consultations.
These sessions are in no way to hinder the patient from making office visits to their physician, but to enlighten them about their health concerns or answer questions that they could not ask during their last visit with the physician. Most likely, after information is provided they can now make a more intelligent decision prior to returning for their next visit with the physician.
Studies have shown that when the health coach and physician work together the patient improves in taking medications, making dietary changes and even increasing physical activities.
It also helps more when the patients become more proactive in monitoring their numbers such as body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, hormone and cholesterol levels, etc., all things in which the health coach can work with them on before, during and after the visits with the physician.
So, helping the patient become more accountable for their health is not only beneficial to the patient, but to the physician and health coach relationship too.