When I was first approached to be a member on the condition management team, I was excited and nervous. I have been coaching for several years and I’m confident that I can help any person with their health. But with the condition management program, I had the potential to speak to someone with a serious chronic condition.
Lifestyle and chronic condition management
WebMD has done a great job of training me to speak with participants about diabetes, COPD, asthma, CAD, and heart failure. There were a lot of hours put into training and follow-up training on all of the conditions. But the more calls I complete, the more I understand that these participants really just want to improve their lifestyle. They may be on medications to manage their condition, but with simple lifestyle changes, the progression of the condition can slow and their quality of life can improve.
Taking medications properly is just part of the conversation. All the lifestyle factors like exercise and eating habits are also a large part of the discussion. With the condition management program, a participant gets to spend time more talking about their condition, which they may not get during a visit with their physician. With our help and this tailored program, we can move a participant to a healthier life where they have better control of their condition.
Online condition management tools support progress
One of the things that participants seem to really like about the condition management program is the online tools. They can upload their values, set goals, and find weekly activities to improve their condition all in one place. They are excited that the coach can view and follow their progress as well. Participants also like the devices that are sent to monitor their blood pressure or weight. This is just another way accountability is integrated into the program.
The first participant I spoke to who was enrolled in the condition management program had type 1 diabetes. She managed her glucose levels well and was not having any significant issues with the diabetes. She just wanted to lose some weight. She was having a hard time finding the time for exercise and her doctor was pressuring her to increase her activity. Together we worked out a plan and she was very excited that the plan was realistic and fit into her busy schedule. We discussed monitoring her glucose levels before and after her exercise routine and she seemed very confident that she could do the exercise four times a week and still have great control over the diabetes.
With the specific, personal approach of coaching and the added knowledge of chronic conditions, together we can improve the quality of life of any individual in the condition management program.