What’s the number one thing people are looking for in a health care provider? Someone they can talk to, who will listen to their concerns and spend time as much time as it takes to explain what’s going on with their health. According to one survey, that’s even more important than getting evidence-based care.1
It’s a matter of trust
Why would that be? Because recognizing that we have a health issue or something we might want to change about our health isn’t easy. It makes us feel vulnerable, so we want to know that the person working with us is someone we can trust. ActiveHealth builds that trust through communication:
- The words we choose
- The tone of our voice and how fast we speak
- Our body language
What we say and what we mean
A slight change in the way we say the same words can convey sincerity, sarcasm or humor. We’ve all received one of those emails or texts where we’re not quite sure how to take it. The words we choose matter too. Thoughtful conversations can help our members focus on their values and priorities and find the strength within themselves to make positive changes.
This is the benefit that telephonic coaching has offered. Experienced coaches, trained in motivational interviewing techniques connect live with people who are trying to make healthy changes, manage chronic conditions or navigate an acute episode of care.
It’s also why we offer group coaching sessions live. We can offer reliable, clinically sound information to our members and respond to their questions in real time.
Adding the missing piece
During the pandemic, many of us started to explore technology that let us be face to face with friends, family and colleagues. Being live on video in our daily lives has become more normal.
So, we started asking our coaches to be visible on screen during group coaching sessions – enhancing the coach-participant interactivity. Sessions now more fully convey the information using words, tone, inflection and body language.
We also started making telehealth-style video calls an option in our coaching programs. Now, instead of just talking with a coach on the phone, our members and coaches can see each other. As one of our coaches said, “You can see facial expressions and reactions on video that you can’t on phone calls. Members seem to like that, and I can use visual aids, which is helpful.”
Making a human connection
People really are at the heart of what we do at ActiveHealth. They’re our clients, our members and our colleagues. Including more video functionality in our programs is an incremental addition to the support we already provide in telephonic and online sessions. It’s an important one though – because nothing conveys how truly excited we are when our members achieve their health goals than returning their hard-won smiles with our own.
1Council of Accountable Physician Practices. 2017 Consumer Healthcare Priorities Study: What Patients and Doctors Want from the Health Care System. Available here. Accessed August 15, 2022.