Many patients lack confidence that their healthcare provider is committed to improving their health. They’re reluctant to come in for care when a doctor typically asks a few questions, instructs them to pick up a prescription, and walks out the door.

This is especially true with Big Retail healthcare — patients nor the providers expect to build a relationship in these settings. Both sides of the transaction assume they’ll never see each other again – and without a relationship, you won’t see behavior change. And without behavior change, you’re not going to see healthier outcomes.

Healthcare teams must build trust through strong relationships and consistent communication to increase patient engagement and get patients healthy. Providers need to create an intentional, proactive, and data-driven approach to help a patient take the necessary steps to lose weight, quit smoking, take their prescription medication regularly, or manage their diabetes better.

Proactive engagement requires us to identify and create an engagement plan for patients with high-risk conditions or behaviors that signal the change of poor health. Employer-sponsored healthcare offers better access, but the care teams must help build that trust and guide each patient’s journey.

Jeff Wells, Marathon Health
Jeff Wells, CEO & Co-Founder, Marathon Health

Jeff Wells, MD, is the CEO and co-founder of Marathon Health, a modern health company that delivers advanced independent primary care for employers throughout its onsite, Network, and virtual health centers.