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ThoroughCare FAQ | Patient Engagement

How Clinicians Use ThoroughCare to Educate Patients

January 30th, 2024 | 8 min. read



Content Team

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Physicians and clinical teams face a catch-22. They can’t gain patient participation and adherence without increasing health and disease education.  Yet, they don’t have the time to engage patients deeply.

But what if clinical teams used a focused approach supported by trusted, timely educational resources that maximized teachable moments?

With ThoroughCare, physicians and care teams can access evidence-based, targeted, and timely educational content from Healthwise, all within their normal workflow. 

The catch-22 of patient education

As any clinician will admit, patient education is a challenge. You know the importance of patients having accurate knowledge of their disease and the plan of care. However, it can be nearly impossible to assess the literacy level, provide the appropriate education, and confirm comprehension on an individual basis.

The go-to is giving handouts or pointing patients to a portal or online medical resource.

Yet, your care plan can’t be successful without patient buy-in and active participation.

But, it is possible to adopt an approach to patient education that is shown to improve care plan commitment and outcomes.

Our recommended strategy entails (1) leveraging a team-based care model that’s (2) paired with an evidence-based behavior change framework and (3) relies on tested and personalized patient education materials. 

ThoroughCare works with Healthwise to meet provider expectations and patient education needs

The key to patient education and engagement is ensuring the right information arrives in the best form, meeting patients where they stand in their care experience.

What is Healthwise?

Healthwise is a nonprofit service provider of health information that’s accessible, evidence-based, and current. The company offers written and video educational content that covers more than 8,500 topics in 17 languages. Healthwise is "free from conflict with the medical device and pharmaceutical industries."

Patients are often given generic information or care plan instructions that are overwhelming and confusing. Patients may not understand what to do with the information and how it applies to them. Timing and relevance are critical.

Clinicians and their care teams want effective patient education that can close gaps and meet patients where they are in managing their conditions and literacy levels. Plus, it must be seamlessly integrated with existing workflows in providing care. It's essential for patient education to be timely, accurate, and evidence-based.

These imperatives drove ThoroughCare to integrate Healthwise with our care coordination platform. Every care delivery organization using ThoroughCare can access Healthwise for patient education resources that enhance care delivery through evidence-based behavioral change techniques.

At the heart of our integration with Healthwise is a three-step approach to successful patient education:

Graphic (2)

By using a team-based model, combined with an evidence-based behavior change framework and integrating Healthwise’s educational content into our platform, ThoroughCare helps clinicians improve patient knowledge and active participation in their care plan.

A scientific review of 52 studies found connections between patient education and improved health.

  • 88.5% of studies reported favorable rates of patient education utilization
  • 57.9% of studies reported patients found educational materials useful
  • 40.4% of studies reported improvements in health outcomes following educational interventions

Team-based care facilitates timely, teachable moments

A team-based care model creates an opportunity to share the responsibility of patient education and engagement and alleviate the pressure that only physicians can teach and coach.

With services such as Chronic Care Management or Transitional Care Management, care teams can use ThoroughCare to leverage varied care team members and licensures to connect with and support patients.

Because these programs offer more touchpoints, care teams can easily pick up the educational baton and use the platform to see where the patient is in their health journey and how they’ve engaged so far. This improves efficiency and maximizes teachable moments. 

Evidence-based behavior change framework: The Cardiff Change Model

The Sustainable Change Sequence, also known as the Cardiff Change Model, is the foundation of all Healthwise educational tools.  

unnamed (1)-2

Source: The Sustainable Change Sequence framework developed and published by Dr. Glyn Elwyn, et al. 

The Sustainable Change Sequence (see Figure 2) was developed to operationalize behavior change theories, like Social Cognitive Theory, the Transtheoretical Model, and Self-Regulation Theory, thereby leveraging interactive interventions to support patients with chronic health conditions.

What’s critical about this logic model is that it honors the complex sequence of behavior change:

  • Behavior change occurs gradually before becoming habitual
  • Requires ongoing support to navigate relapses
  • Self-management requires broader life integration
  • Change requires more than knowledge acquisition
  • Goal setting and follow-up over time are key

unnamed (2)

Source: The Cardiff Change Model framework used by Healthwise and adapted from the original published by Dr. Glyn Elwyn, et al.

Healthwise adapted the framework (see Figure 3) for patient education, focusing on patients' varied engagement needs at each of the five stages – create awareness, facilitate learning, enhance motivation, prompt behavior change, and ensure sustainability of behavior change.

When paired with a Chronic Care Management-based approach, viable health change is possible. Support is ongoing, progressive, goal-oriented, and tailored to the patient’s goals and current learning needs and capacities.

Care managers and other team members are empowered to provide relevant educational resources in easy-to-understand formats that clinicians can trust.

Patient education resources that are tested, trusted, and personalized

ThoroughCare chose to integrate with Healthwise because of its evidence-based, award-winning approach to sound, trusted patient education.

Covering more than 8,500 topics, Healthwise offers benefits not seen in other educational tools, including:

  • Accurate: Their clinical review board comprises 150 health professionals and medical specialists from over 50 specialties.
  • Inclusive: Healthwise meets diverse literacy levels and learning types with education written at or below a 6th-grade reading level, including text, visuals, and 800+ videos. Visuals and text intentionally emphasize diversity in age, skin tone, body type, and gender identity.
  • Multi-lingual: All Healthwise education is available in English and Spanish, with commonly used content available in 15 additional languages.
  • Relevant: Educational tools cover each of the five stages in the patient journey with deeper coverage of acute and chronic conditions and topics.
  • Current and unbiased: Topics are based on the latest research with top-of-mind subjects, common conditions, and procedures.
  • Engaging: Healthwise touts an average 81% completion rate and the ability to follow individual engagement with analytics.
  • Effective: Content is tested with diverse user groups and consumer advisory boards for real-world evidence and feedback.
  • NCQA accredited: Through accreditation, Healthwise offers validated education, meeting health literacy benchmarks beyond reading level while using plain language and visuals to educate.

On its own, Healthwise offers robust, trusted educational tools built on an evidence-based framework. When integrated with ThoroughCare’s care coordination platform, patient education becomes a seamless part of clinical and care management workflows.

ThoroughCare embeds patient education within clinician workflow 

ThoroughCare is fully integrated with Healthwise’s patient education tools. 

Care managers and clinicians can seamlessly choose the most appropriate educational resource for each patient on the fly, or as a standard part of building knowledge, skills, and commitment through the patient’s journey.

Choose Healthwise patient education at any point in ThoroughCare’s care management workflow

  • During assessments and screenings
  • During Annual Wellness Visits
  • During goal planning
  • During care plan creation
  • During monthly encounters
  • During transitions
  • When addressing conditions, barriers, and health changes

Within a patient’s ThoroughCare profile, care managers can seamlessly pull an individual’s information into Healthwise and send educational content directly via email. 

unnamed (3)

Engagement with the material is tracked for each patient. 

Clinicians can use this data to see how each patient has utilized educational resources, assess their understanding of the material, and conduct personalized follow-up.

Achieving sustainable behavior change through integrated, trusted patient education

According to the Sustainable Change Sequence creators, Dr. Glyn Elwyn, et al., “By separating behavior change into distinct steps, the model explicitly acknowledges that people with long-term illnesses are at different stages in their behavior change journey.”

The goal of integrating trusted patient education resources into the care management workflow is to close the gap between knowing what to do and doing it regularly as part of a patient’s care plan and their integrated continuum of growth.

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