Online Program

Assessing a health coaches program as a model for health education and primary care collaboration

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Melissa Hrynyk-Potter, MPH candidate, MPH Program, East Stroudsburg University, East Stroudsburg, PA
Alberto J.F. Cardelle, PhD, MPH, College of the Health Sciences, East Stroudsburg University, East Stroudsburg, PA
Studies show that 50% of patients leave a hospital without understanding the advice and directions given, resulting in a majority of patients to be non-compliant. Health coaching is a primary care innovation designed to solve or alleviate this gap, by assigning patients with individuals trained in health education that can assist the patients in increasing their efficacy in following their post-visit regiments. This paper presents the assessment of a collaborative pilot health coaches initiative between an academic public health program, and a regional health system. The program aims to train and employ undergraduate students from the allied health fields to serve as health coaches with community-based interdisciplinary health teams in a rural area of northeast Pennsylvania. Through the program students participate in a credit-based formal training program, receive field-based training, and then are employed to work independently as health coaches with the health system's community-based teams. This paper presents the evaluation of the program's first year. The assessment employed a mixed-method design. It has collected quantitative patient data from the hospital, longitudinal survey and observational data from the health coaches, and qualitative data from the interdisciplinary health teams. The initial results show that a) the coaches' efficacy in working as health educators with the community-based teams has increased; b) the coaches'role has been received favorably by the care networks; c) the coaches'assigned patients have been enthusiastic about program; and d) the coaches' impact is expected to improve the quality of the patient's clinical experience.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Identify the need for health coaches Explain the role of health coaches Discuss the training needs of health coaches Assess the future impact of the model

Keyword(s): Community Health, Primary Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Have been working on evaluation as a student, and have followed up on this project since its development.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.