“Football and health care are not that different. Both are team events. We are all stakeholders in the health care system,” said Dr. Jan Berger at The Alliance’s Aug. 2017 Population Health event.
Berger is President and CEO at Health Intelligence Partners, LLC, a global health care consulting firm focused on product strategy and value articulation.
Relationship-Based Health Care Starts with Trust
“One of the things that I think is so cool about The Alliance is how you all have started to align goals, but also be actively in conversation whether it’s the hospital systems, the physicians or others. Because unless we start doing that within relationship-based care – nobody wins,” said Berger.
Health care stakeholders all have different goals. However, we need to work together to be successful. We can do this through relationship-based care.
Why is relationship-based care so important?
“One word,” said Berger, “trust.”
“Health care is the most intimate, personal thing that we can do in life,” said Berger. A conversation with your doctor about your own health needs to be genuine and truthful. If we don’t have trust in our own doctor we will emotionally shut down and not follow through with recommended treatment programs.
When you have trust in your health care, you have more positive health outcomes.
Advice for Employers
“In order to build the relationship you need mutual understanding, good communication, empathy and alignment of goals and incentives,” said Berger.
Many people think that it is easier for a healthy person to make a positive health behavior change than it is for a less healthy person.
“That is a myth,” said Berger.
Making a lifestyle change is difficult for anyone. Employers need to reduce barriers to encourage employees to maximize their health and wellness benefits.
Tools and Techniques
Employers can use a variety of tools and techniques to assist employees to make healthier lifestyle choices. The first step is to determine what is most important in the lives of your employees.
“Ask them, What is most important to you?” said Berger. Their answers may surprise you. These answers will also reflect the cultural and personal values of your population.
Encourage shared health care decision-making between patients and their doctors. The Alliance website has resources available for you and your workforce. Take advantage of them.
You need shared decision-making as a part of your health and wellness initiatives. “Because without it, the likelihood of maximizing healthy outcomes is low,” said Berger.
The needs and health goals of your workforce are excellent guides for your future health care communication strategies. Use them to make your health care communications timely, personalized and relevant.
We need to give people the best chance to be engaged in their health and become their best healthy selves.