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A health education specialist (HES) is a clinic staff member who can fill many roles now demanded in modern medical practices. In the authors' practice, the HES serves as both a health educator, encouraging patients toward more healthy behavior, and a health coach, helping patients choose and achieve defined health goals. These roles also include assisting physicians during Medicare annual wellness visits and coaching co-visits. The HES also can monitor care quality and oversee practice improvement initiatives, such as transitioning to a medical home model. Using non-medical personnel for HES positions, practices can still reap benefits from their specialized training while not having to remove nursing personnel from their increasingly important primary care responsibilities.
With two minutes and two tools, you can help your patients make healthier choices.
A significant percentage of patients have limited health literacy, meaning they have trouble finding, understanding, and using health-related information to make good decisions about their medical care and personal health. This can complicate a physician's attempts to explain a patient's condition and steer them toward better health decisions. Considering the likelihood of a patient's poor health literacy, physicians should adjust their communication strategy with all patients, making sure to use simpler explanations, focus on two or three key messages per visit, speak slowly, ask patients to repeat instructions to ensure understanding, and make sure printed materials are easy to understand.
The article outlines steps physicians can take to promote fitness (physical activity, nutrition and emotional wellness) to their patients, drawing on lessons from the AIM-HI research project.
Patients may resist treatment for depression from a variety of misconceptions about the condition and its treatment. The author offers suggested counters to a variety of unfounded objections to treatment.
The author describes strategies that physicians and their patients can use to identify and avoid counterfeit medications.
The article describes practical ways physicians can reduce medication-related errors in their practices.
The author describes how to code and get paid for sports physicals and how to manage sometimes differing expectations of the parent, the patient and your own as the physician.
Physicians' reimbursement options for tobacco cessation counseling include Medicare's recently broadened coverage, other insurance plans, and employee flexible spending accounts.