Stephanie Wilt and Pam Faulkner featured on the Iowa Health Coach Website



Health Coaching Success with an Employer Population

Pam Faulkner, RN, BSN and Stephanie Wilt, RN, BSN both work with Hannibal Regional Healthcare System. They both partner on a Population Health project.  Now they have one more thing in common: they are both graduates of The Clinical Health Coach® training program.

In 2013, the Accountable Care Program at Hannibal Regional Healthcare System, took a proactive approach by offering a service to their team members to help them better manage their health and to lower the cost of the organization’s health care plan and increase productivity. Pam Faulkner and Stephanie Wilt’s roles were to assist team members with managing chronic diseases and modifying unhealthy behaviors, while encouraging preventative screening. They used a team approach to complete biometric screenings on all of their hospital’s employees annually. Of 908 employees participating in biometrics, 236 were identified as candidates for their health/wellness coaching services. Of those 236 candidates, 56 employees opted in. Once on board, the employees were coached 6+ times over the course of the year.

In 2013, the Program also received a two-year grant (funded by the Missouri Foundation of Health) with a mission to improve the overall wellness of their super utilizers of the Emergency Department. A key element in accomplishing this goal was meeting with individuals in their homes. Beginning with biweekly visits early on, then transitioning to monthly, both Pam and Stephanie placed a high value on these encounters. They noticed and observed more influencing factors than if they had relied on telephonic coaching or meeting in the clinic setting.

Both Pam and Stephanie rely heavily on the coaching skills they learned through the Clinical Health Coach® training program. Stephanie’s biggest take-away was re-training herself to not “tell” the patient what to do. She put it into play while coaching and following a 50-year old male. He was a smoker and a diabetic who recently had bypass surgery. After coaching her patient for only 1 ½ months and focusing on “Change Talk”, Stephanie saw her patient lead his own behaviors into a healthier and more productive lifestyle. “Starting small is key”, Stephanie commented. Her patient today has given up smoking and drinks diet-soda, rather than the 10 regular sodas he used to drink daily.

According to Pam, the biggest gain she made after attending the CHC training was developing her “listening skills”. Now, she may ask a simple question such as, “So, what brought you back to the ER?”…then she just listens. It opens the door that Pam needs to begin to coach them into taking ownership of their own health. Pam said she meets the patients at the place where they are, and helps to make the changes work for them. Even if it means being a little creative with her approach, Pam will find a way. One of her patients used to smoke a pack of cigarettes every day and spend a lot of time on Facebook.  Now, she no longer smokes and rides her exercise bike while Facebooking!

The results of the one-year study were encouraging. Improvements were seen in all values measured in biometric screenings for those team members who participated in the Accountable Care Program (see Table below). In addition, an estimated 80% decrease was seen in total Emergency Department (ED) charges for three of the highest utilizers enrolled in the population health program, as well as 46% decrease in ED and inpatient stays for the highest utilizers.


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