Your Practice Transformation Companion

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Take the PATH to better health. Right now.

Question: If a patient has a chronic or long-term health condition that is getting them down due to pain, fatigue and difficult emotions, what can you do to help?
Answer: Refer them to a PATH workshop so they can learn strategies and techniques to deal with those problems. Information gleaned at a workshop includes problem solving, goal setting, decision making, relaxation techniques and the importance of taking care of themselves. They’ll learn about other topics such as managing symptoms and medications, healthy eating, physical activity and communicating with family, friends and health care providers. Does this sound good? Then read on.

PATH stands for Personal Action Toward Health and is Michigan's version of the award winning Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program out of Stanford University’s School of Medicine, Division of Family and Community Medicine. There is also a Diabetes Self-Management Program. Although other states have different names for their programs, one thing stays the same: the fidelity of Stanford’s program and the license required to run it. Practice Transformation Institute has one of those licenses.

The PATH workshop is:
  • two and a half hours
  • once a week
  • for six weeks
  • in a convenient, easily accessible community setting
  • free or at a very low cost
  • conducted by two trained leaders
  • highly participative, supportive, encouraging, educational
  • a way to help patients become better self-managers
  • confidence building
  • fun

People with a chronic or long-term health condition attend together and, as a result, are better able to face the daily challenges of living with an ongoing health condition. One of the main concepts of the workshop is action planning and setting realistic, achievable goals that the patient is accountable for. The action plan has to be something the attendee wants to do, be achievable, action-specific, and answer the questions of what, when, how much and how often, and they must have a confidence level of seven or higher. Each week attendees and the leaders develop their own action plan and report back the following week. Suggestions and help are given depending on the outcome of the action plan.

We need YOUR help. This program has been proven to be effective, but only if participants are there. Health care professionals must spread the word to patients, friends and family. Recommend it, write it as a referral, have brochures in the office, talk it up.

Did you know that in NCQA’s Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Recognition Program, there are four factors where a PATH class referral can be used to help garner points? Two of PTI’s PATH leaders are also NCQA PCMH Certified Content Experts who can perform NCQA PCMH readiness assessments, document reviews, application/survey tool assistance, practice team coaching and phone consultation as needed. See PTI’s website for more details.

If you are in Michigan, see our PTI calendar for PATH programs already scheduled and dates for future workshops. Please keep PTI in mind if you’d like a class held in a community near you. We can provide the leaders and the promotional materials. Remember that a PATH class can be held almost anywhere. Places such as physician offices, senior centers, churches, libraries, hospitals and other community settings are great choices. We believe in this. We’re fired up and we want you to be fired up, too! PATH works!

Next workshop currently scheduled at:

The Physician Training Center (Practice Transformation Institute)
26550 John R
Madison Heights, MI 48071

Type: PATH Chronic Disease Self-Management Program
Begins: Thursday, June 12, 2014
Ends: Thursday, July 24, 2014
*Workshop will not be held Thursday, July 3 due to the July 4th holiday. Class will resume the following week.
To register:
Contact: Mike Mellor at 248.475.4867 

To find a PATH workshop near you:

Phone: 517.335.1236

To learn more about the Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program: