Physician Office Health Coach Training Program

This database is no longer actively maintained and is here for archival purposes only

Organization Type: 
Not For Profit
Program Type: 
Standing Program
Education Level: 
Continuing Education
Technical certificate programs or certificate training programs
Educational Elements: 
Self Reflection Activities
Experiential not including services to patients
Other Element(s): 
Group Practice & Activities
Program Description: 

The Physician Office Health Coach Training Program trains nursing staff to follow a unique approach for helping patients set and achieve their health care improvement goals.  Mercy’s leadership in quality and preventive care has earned national recognition and proven success; this distinctive, award-winning health coach program is a ground-breaking approach to optimizing the health and well-being of patients of all ages.  Mercy health coaches are licensed, registered nurses who work with primary care doctors to provide one-on-one care to patients.

Health coaches are available to work with patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure and provide education and support during their journey to a healthier lifestyle. In addition, health coaches remind patients when it is time for their regular health screenings and wellness exams.  They work with patients to create a customized health care improvement plan to meet each individual’s specific needs. The plan may include education about specific conditions or risk factors, healthy eating tips, an exercise plan, or a timeline for follow-up visits. Most importantly, health coaches provide ongoing support to patients as they make behavioral changes to improve their health.

Program Results: 

This program has tracked the work of the health coaches over the years and has found a positive return on investment, improved patient clinical outcomes, improved clinical process outcomes, and reduced hospital readmissions.  Participants conduct evaluations of each speaker and class, which are summarized and sent to the Iowa Board of Nursing for program quality assurance. This program carefully considers suggestions and comments from these evaluations in order to continually update and improve the course.

Targeted Professions
Registered Nurses
Licensed Practical Nurses
Social Work: 
Medical social work
Patient Educators
Self-Reported Competencies
PCPCC’s Education and Training Task Force identified 16 interprofessional training competencies critical for preparing health professionals for practicing in team-based, coordinated care models such as patient-centered medical homes. Listed below are the self-reported competencies that this program has achieved, which have been organized by the five core features of a medical home as defined by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Patient-Centered Care Competencies: 
Development of effective, caring relationships with patients
Comprehensive Care Competencies: 
Population-based approaches to health care delivery
Coordinated Care Competencies: 
Care coordination for comprehensive care of patient & family in the community
Quality Care & Safety Competencies: 
Quality improvement methods, including assessment of patient-experience for use in practice-based improvement efforts
Accessible Care Competencies: 
Promotion of appropriate access to care (e.g., group appointments, open scheduling)
Last updated July 21, 2014

* Please note: Information contained in this database is self-reported by representatives from each program. It does not represent an exhaustive list of education and training programs and inclusion does not constitute an endorsement from the PCPCC.


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