Obesity treatment research is continuously updated. It can be challenging to stay abreast of new treatment protocols, pertinent nutrition information, and new solutions. To help health care professionals to stay ahead of the curve, Robard Corporation offers “Updates in Obesity 2016-2017,” a free, on demand webcast video featuring Dr. Christopher Case, a board certified endocrinologist in Jefferson City, Missouri, practicing at Jefferson City Medical Group.
During this presentation, Dr. Case reviews recently published articles in obesity management and the impact in clinical management; defines the role of macronutrients in weight loss and obesity through the examination of current published studies; and, advises you on how to implement practical weight maintenance techniques and applications through the assessment of current research.
Watch the video below. Then, be sure to check out how Robard can help you treat obesity.
How do you get patients to stick with the plan?
Compliance to a medical treatment can be challenging, to say the least. Patients want to be healthier, more active, and more energetic. Yet time and time again, they fall off the wagon and resort to going back into the same old habits that don’t support their progress. Why? (Click here for a flashback on 5 Bad Habits that Lead to Weight Gain)
For health care providers, it can be frustrating to check in with a patient and hear that their diet or exercise plan isn’t going so well. But it can also help to understand how habits form so you can not only help set realistic expectations for your patient, but also for yourself.
Studies on habit formation have shown that habits form as part of a three-step process. First, there’s a cue, or trigger, that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and let a behavior unfold (i.e. hunger). Then, there’s the routine, which is the actual behavior that we associate as being the “bad habit.” The third step is the reward: Something that your brain likes that helps it remember the “habit loop” in the future. In the case of overweight patients, the pleasure of enjoying “off-limits” food can be their reward. (Learn more about this physiological pleasure connection for those suffering from food addiction in our free white paper.)
Neuroscience has shown that habitual behavior and conscious decision-making are handled by two different parts of the brain, and the area of the brain that controls habits can often supersede and shut down the decision-making area. So when patients revert back to old habits, it is not that they are just battling low motivation or self-control. Their brains are hardwired to return to the behavior that it is used to, even when they no longer benefit from it.
So what can health care providers do?
First off, be patient with your patients. It’s not that they are less committed to their goals; for many it can just be that they require a little more time to relearn healthier habits. Studies show that it can take anywhere from 18 days to 254 days for people to form a new habit. And there will be trips along the way.
Secondly, don’t stress too much about when they mess up. Researchers have found that “missing one opportunity to perform the behavior did not materially affect the habit formation process.” In other words, it doesn’t matter if you mess up every now and then. Reassure your patients that an occasional binge is not the end of the world and encourage them to get back on the horse.
Third, understand that old habits are not forgotten, but replaced with new ones. We can’t magically expect patients to stop a damaging behavior without providing an easier alternative. For overweight people who have an unhealthy relationship with food, there can be a benefit to introducing something like meal replacements. Rather than expecting patients to completely change how they relate to food, they can replace their normal food habits with an easy shake or bar and make it part of a new routine that is easier to implement.
Dr. Valerie Sutherland of Rainier Medical Weight Loss and Wellness notes, “[Patients] typically report that taking food away for a period made a huge difference, even if only for a month. Since food can be addictive for some people, taking it away completely can be crucial for long term change, which is the opposite eﬀect that you may be warned about by some critics of a short term rapid weight loss program that is ‘unsustainable.’”
For a more help on helping patients set realistic goals they can stick with, instantly download our free Short Term Goal Helper Worksheet!
Sources: NPR, MIT News, HuffPost
Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation
Social Media still remains all the craze today, with participation in every segment of society and every industry around the world, across all ages and professions. In the U.S., the proportion of adults using social media has increased from eight percent to 72 percent since 2005. Health care professionals are not exempt from the perception that if you do not have a social media presence, you are assumed to be behind the times.
For some who don’t feel as internet savvy as others, social media may seem daunting and not worth the effort. But studies have been increasingly showing that social media can cost effectively boost your health outcomes, patient retention, thought leadership, reputation, and even support your bottom line.
Today, social media is about more than just engagement; it is a business imperative. Studies have shown that the use of social media can greatly enhance the image and visibility of a medical center or hospital. In one study, 57 percent of consumers said that a hospital’s social media presence would strongly influence their choice regarding where to go for services. A strong social media presence was also interpreted by 81 percent of consumers as being an indication that a hospital offers cutting-edge technologies. In another study, 12.5 percent of surveyed health care organizations reported having successfully attracted new patients through the use of social media.
Health care providers can use social media to potentially improve health outcomes, develop a professional network, increase personal awareness of news and discoveries, motivate patients, and provide health information to the community. There are simple solutions to getting started that don’t even require you to take the time to develop all original content. (For example, speak to Robard staff about how you can embed the Robard blog directly into your website and take advantage of up-to-date news about health and weight loss.)
However, at the same time, it is a tool that should be used wisely, and be advised by best practices. Always be sure to develop employee guidelines and organizational policies that protect safety and security of patient information, patient consent, employment practices, physician credentialing and licensure, HCP–patient boundaries, and other ethical issues.
Social media isn’t difficult, but it does require some thought. Luckily, Robard has already done a lot of that for you. Download our guide of some basic Social Media Tips to get you started in the right direction. We offer marketing tips like this as part of Business Growth Training, a complimentary service we provide exclusively to Robard customers. Check it out and start growing your social media presence today!
If you want more in-depth social media assistance, or to learn about our other Marketing and Business Growth services, contact us at 800.222.9201 or click here.
Sources: Ventola, C. L. (2014). Social Media and Health Care Professionals: Benefits, Risks, and Best Practices. Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 39(7), 491–520.
Blog written by Vanessa Ramalho/Robard Corporation
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