The Delta Institute is committed to making members whole again. We have discovered an important part of the journey toward health restoration includes having a member coach for each individual participating in the protocol.

Why is a medical coach important?

For the optimal restorative outcome, especially in the support of chronic diseases, a patient coach is a critical asset. Chronic care management, lifestyle changes, medication management, and implementation of the Delta support Protocols may be difficult or impossible for a member to complete without the help of a coach, depending on the stage of illness. This may include recording data on the back office integration system which plays a key role in determining treatment success. Additionally, there is no greater aid to healing than TLC from a trusted companion, spouse, friend, or even a health professional such as a part-time or full-time nurse practitioner.

Who can become a coach?

Within the framework of advanced conditions, a member may have a treatment care team consisting of doctors, nurses, clinical affiliates, social workers, clinicians, medical assistants, community health workers, health educators, and others. In our research we found that the recovery and restoration process advances at an accelerated rate when patients have one “key” coach who they trust implicitly.

The optimal “key” coach is a loved one such as a spouse, a companion, a parent, guardian, child, relative, or best friend. This person is someone who can be by the members side around the clock or at least the majority of each day. This “key coach” can often assist with reducing the stress of dealing with the “treatment care team” when a patient is at an advanced stage of illness. It may seem that the optimal coach would need health care training and some understanding of disease and health, but although training is helpful, the most important aspect of coaching is centered on the loving kindness and trust between the patient and the coach. The innate confidence of this circumstance is priceless when it comes to healing.

Since some patients need help with even minor daily routines like bathing, dressing, and cooking, and perhaps feeding assistance, someone living in the home 24/7 offers the best and most cost-effective full-time solution. A spouse who is ready and willing to help can improve assistance by learning about the disease, being open to instruction, and following protocols as succinctly as possible. At times, depending on the severity of the situation, the coach may wish to consider the services of a part-time nurse practitioner or other health care assistance.

Not only is it essential for a patient to have a coach, it is also essential that the coach takes a break. Utilizing the services of a nurse practitioner or even another relative will allow the coach to take a break, get some air, some sun, and take a few moments in an alternate environment in order to stay alert and avoid extreme fatigue. As trust is essential, the patient, whenever possible, should be the person to decide who should become the “key” coach. A coach should understand in detail the patient's health situation and lifestyle. Health Coaching Responsibilities – may be used alone or combined:.

  1. Motivational, compassionate dialogue – provide self-management support
  2. Conversation, dialogue, concern, listening, validation and reassurance
  3. Encouragement of necessary lifestyle changes
  4. Track changes in pain levels, vitals, fluids, responses, and condition
  5. Input data into the member-generated Delta Back Office when patient is unable
  6. Discuss value of Delta dietary requirements, plan menus, & assist with implementation
  7. Dispense medications or injections when member is unable
  8. Evoke “change correlation talk” as member revives and sees line charts improving
  9. Ask open-ended questions that elicit the reasons, desire, and ability for change
  10. Create a written “plan of action” to achieve health restoration with the member.
  11. Reward, recognize, and emphasize the “change” efforts made by the member
  12. Validation and encouragement is key to lifting and avoiding the depression cycle
  13. Instill hope at every opportunity during the treatment and recovery process
  14. Encourage family members to demonstrate their interest in the patient’s health
  15. Manage visits with family and friends to avoid excessive energy loss
  16. Use a ‘menu of options’ when discussing action plans, visits scheduling, etc.
  17. Allow the member, whenever possible, to take ownership of their experience
  18. Avoid “directing” and “telling” a member what to do. Offer choices and assistance.
  19. Make it easier for the member to manage his/her own care by creative placements
  20. Offer suggestions, offer choices and options and encourage self administration
  21. Be the middleman between clinician and member only when patient cannot
  22. Assist in navigating the healthcare system, arrange appointments, & pay bills, etc
  23. Fill and manage prescriptions, arrange for testing, transport patient as needed
  24. Assist during the clinician visit and during all post-visit. Support & encourage.
  25. Communicate with the Delta team through daily Back Office interface
  26. Report significant changes to the Delta clinical affiliate or Delta immediately

Delta Back Office Monitoring Management

One of the most crucial tools in the Delta recovery protocol is the patient Back Office. When a person is severely ill, it is not always easy to “feel” the body improving, but as the information is carefully and methodically input into the Delta Back Office Monitoring software, not only will the clinician be able to watch the hourly and daily changes, both member and coach will be able to monitor the line graphs and follow the expected protocol responses. Once the line graph trajectory begins to move toward an improvement, hope is augmented and that extra energy is used by the immune system to accelerate the healing process. This is why it is so imperative that the member and the coach are dedicated from day one to utilize the sophisticated software available with the Delta Institute Club Membership.

The Importance of Independence

Embracing a member-centered, management approach in acute care settings is optimal when and where it is logical and feasible. At times, the traditional directive style might be appropriate depending on the stage of illness and mental awareness of the member. Almost every adult prefers to make decisions and choices for themselves. Only in the most crucial setting would the caregiver (coach) need to become the decision maker of the moment. Certainly as recovery advances, the coach will need to slowly regress from any decision making and return to the suggestions listed above so the patient regains autonomy and thus the hope needed for a full recovery. Research demonstrates that hope instills the desire to live and the desire to live instills the willingness to “try” to make the lifestyle changes needed to continue down the road to a “lasting recovery” and full health restoration.

Having a private coach can dramatically improve restorative outcomes. Knowing one person is genuinely concerned about your survival and improvement has been shown to increase life span. During severe illness, a coach can be the single most important lifeline and can be the difference between life and death. In late stage scenarios a coach is a necessity, not an extravagance. We encourage almost all our club members in later stages of disease to enlist the assistance of a health coach. Please read more about case management for Delta’s private members.