Patient Engagement
Talk
What’s Advertising Got to Do with It? (03:53)

There are three things health care delivery systems can do to encourage environments that trigger healthy habits, according to Wendy Wood.

  1. Advocate for policies that promote healthier environments for everyone. This includes:

    1a. Responsible advertising that doesn’t take advantage of vulnerable consumers, such as children. “This is something our health care system can get involved in,” says Wood.

    1b. Taxation and food subsidy policies in line with current health knowledge and that support healthy products and behaviors.

    1c. Prominent healthy options in government settings, particularly in schools and on military bases. “This is where we can actually have a lot of change because the government makes a lot of the decisions in these settings,” Wood explains.

  2. Model healthy environments themselves. “We could start thinking about health care facilities as standards themselves, role models for lifestyle health,” says Wood. Make healthy options salient and less healthy options more difficult by designing buildings that promote easy exercise and by offering primary access to healthy foods.
  3. Teach patients how to form healthier habits. “We can go beyond the simple monitoring that I always get — which is very helpful, again, but does not explain to me how to change my behavior,” Wood says. “One way to do this is to actually help people understand how to control their home and their work environments so that these environments are conducive to healthy behavior.”

    We know, from research, that people who are successful at losing weight and keeping it off control the foods available to them in their home environments. And people who exercise regularly structure it into their lives. “They’ve set times and places so they don’t have to make decisions about how to do it,” says Wood. “It’s become automatic. It’s become a habit.”

From the NEJM Catalyst event Patient Engagement: Behavioral Strategies for Better Health at the University of Pennsylvania, February 25, 2016. Watch Part 1 of Wood’s talk: People Who Live Healthy Lifestyles Don’t Deliberate.

More From Patient Engagement
Karen DeSalvo - public health population health social determinants of health expert

Moving from a Sickness Model of Health Care to One of Well-Being

The expense of the U.S. health care system is so misaligned from what we need as a country — a healthier population. A public health expert discusses how we can move toward a model that addresses social determinants of health and promotes well-being while still growing our economy.

Different Means of Initiating and Sustaining Behavior Change

Survey Snapshot: Social Support, Whether In-Person or Virtual, Is the Key to Sustained Behavior Change

NEJM Catalyst Insights Council members seek ways to create relationships with patients — but the hurdles are high.

Different Means of Initiating and Sustaining Behavior Change

Patient Engagement Survey: What Creates Behavior Change May Not Sustain It

An NEJM Catalyst Insights Council survey finds that human interaction and social support are vital for patient behavior change and employee wellness programs.

How the EpxSubstanceUse Substance Use Disorder Mobile Health Texting Program Works - Preferred Family Healthcare Epharmix Technology Assisted Care Coordination Project Opioid Abuse

Messaging System Helps Caregivers Keep Tabs on Growing Number of Patients with Substance Use Disorder

One behavioral health provider pilots cost-effective outreach to patients with SUD that checks up on their recovery, triages needs, and facilitates communication.

Gary Kaplan Head Shot

Improving Patient Involvement in Care

The CEO of Virginia Mason on facilitating and enhancing patient participation in care.

Chou01_pullquote_Time to Start Using Evidence-Based Approaches to Patient-Provider Communication

Time to Start Using Evidence-Based Approaches to Patient Engagement

Clinicians must acknowledge that there is a dramatic difference between learning a concept about patient-provider communication and learning the actual skills for effective execution.

Nash01_pullquote - A Requiem for Value-Based Care Population Health.

A Requiem for Population Health?

Despite some fits and starts for value-based care, there is abundant evidence that the concept will continue to survive and thrive.

Steps for Deploying Nudge Unit in Health Care

Nudge Units to Improve the Delivery of Health Care

Key information and important choices are constantly being presented in health care. Yet often the frames or default options used are selected without attention to strategic goals.

What Is Telehealth?

Telehealth: The delivery of health care, health education, and health information services via remote technologies. Read about telehealth technologies, services, and reimbursement issues.

Example Cost of Custom-Built PRO Collection Platform

The Cost of Patient-Reported Outcomes in Medicine

Implementation of routine PRO collection is paramount to measuring and maximizing value in health care.

Connect

A weekly email newsletter featuring the latest actionable ideas and practical innovations from NEJM Catalyst.

Learn More »

Topics

Patient-Centered Care

210 Articles

Designing and Implementing Better Patient Experiences

An ophthalmology provider with facilities in the greater Mexico City area is using Human-Centered Design…

Survey Snapshot: Social Support, Whether In-Person…

NEJM Catalyst Insights Council members seek ways to create relationships with patients — but the…

Patient Incentives

60 Articles

Survey Snapshot: Social Support, Whether In-Person…

NEJM Catalyst Insights Council members seek ways to create relationships with patients — but the…

Insights Council

Have a voice. Join other health care leaders effecting change, shaping tomorrow.

Apply Now