Exercise professionals from all over are connecting with health care providers in different capacities, working as a part of the extended healthcare team, and providing their expertise to increase patient physical activity levels. Learn techniques and lessons from exercise professionals who serve as a community-based exercise resource to work with sedentary, at-risk patients.
(Sussex, Wisconsin, USA)
- M.S. in Clinical Exercise Physiology
- B.S. in Exercise & Sports Science with a Fitness Emphasis and Nutrition Minor
- Certifications: ACSM Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist, EIM Credential Level III, NSCA Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Therapeutic Exercise Specialist Certification, and Aerobics & Fitness Association of America Group Exercise Instructor Certification
- Employed at QuadMed LLC
- Work with patients identified to be at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease and those with chronic conditions including: diabetes (type I, II, and gestational), asthma, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, hyperlipidemia, pre-diabetes, obesity with 2 or more criteria for metabolic syndrome, hyperglycemia
Describe your work with healthcare professionals:
I work with 12 primary care providers, 3 registered dietitian nutritionists, 3 certified diabetes educators, 1 nurse educator and 4 physical therapists.
How have you established a relationship with healthcare providers?
I introduced the opportunity and vision of utilizing a Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist (RCEP) to the chief medical officer at QuadMed, and he helped me present the program to our clients (other businesses). We routinely talk to our provider "champions" about referrals, protocols and workflows that would impact other providers.
How have you maintained your referral sources?
Two factors were critical: effective communication through the launch of the RCEP role, and having program advocates in the form of the regional medical director and provider champion. I knew support from respected physician leaders was critical to give the new program credibility and to gain broader support among the provider group.
What have been your biggest challenges?
One challenge that I have come across is working with providers who feel that "they can do it all" and may not be used to working in a team environment. Some providers don't feel comfortable referring patients to others and prefer to tell the patients everything they should do. Pre-exercise participation testing has also been a challenge. We were able to give the provider team guidelines that were less costly than other recommended guidelines.
What been the key to your success in working with the healthcare system?
The key to success has been consistency-in communication, services and passion. Every patient visit and provider interaction is an opportunity for me to share my services and my passion. If I am confident and excited about my services, my patients and provider team will feel the same. Every interaction I have is an opportunity to leave an impact about who I am and how I approach the work I do-whether I am walking in the health center to greet a patient, documenting a patient's visit or interacting with the janitor in the health center, I am sending a message to my patients, future patients, or referral source.