Proactive Health Coaching - Improving care and support for patients with long term conditions

Published on 11 October, 2019

What is Proactive Health Coaching?

Proactive Health Coaching is a telephone-based health coaching service which has been introduced in the Vale of York to help support patients and assist them in managing their conditions.

Using an innovative AI-based nursing service from health technology company Health Navigator, patients at risk of unplanned care attendances and admissions are identified and coached back to better health through free weekly coaching calls.

The Proactive Coaching Service is delivered by registered nurses and healthcare professionals, and is designed to offer support whilst empowering patients to take control of their health. We’ve had very positive feedback about the coaching calls from patients which are tailored to meet the needs of each individual. Time can be spent teaching, supporting patients to develop self-care skills, motivating, helping with establishing new healthcare contacts, appointment booking, and contacting their GP and signposting to other supporting services and activities.

This video made in 2017 explains:

Why Are We Implementing a Proactive Health Coaching Service?

National emergency care admissions have reached a 10-year high, with many A&E visits being identified as avoidable in the Vale of York. These attendances often occur where patients feel anxious about their health and are unaware of the alternative support mechanisms that are in place.

In such circumstances health coaching can benefit a patient by helping them to understand and manage their conditions better, know which services to access when they need support, and improve their overall quality of life.

With increasing demand on A&E and secondary care it is important that NHS resources are optimally deployed to best support every patient. The initial trial in Vale of York demonstrated a 36% reduction in A&E attendances for those patients supported by the health coaching intervention compared to those who were not.

What Are the Benefits of Proactive Health Coaching?

Patient feedback has shown that proactive health coaching can make a real difference to patients’ lives. 55% of patients in the randomised control trial in Vale of York felt that that their general confidence and ability to manage their own health and healthcare increased following health coaching. The trial also delivered a 30% increase in patient activation, which is a key metric for a patient’s ability to take control of their own health and healthcare.

The service won an award in the Self-Management Category at the Medipex NHS Innovation Awards and Showcase  and was also shortlisted as a finalist in the HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards 2017.

How are potential patients identified?

Patients who may be at risk of increased unplanned care attendances who may benefit from health coaching are identified through pioneering real-time artificial intelligence and predictive data analytics. The approach combines algorithms honed on tens of thousands of patient data along with manual screening to ensure that appropriate health coaching candidates are identified.

Health coaching is offered either on the ward or through a letter, with 60-70% of patients choosing to utilise the service.

What next?

Following the successful randomised control trial, the Vale of York CCG has commissioned Health Navigator to expand the service to an additional 1,800 patients. The CCG will be assessing the success of the expanded contract and are now extending this approach into primary care to help alleviate the increasing demand for GP appointments.