During his first Australian visit, US Physician and health innovator David Sobel has today presented powerful knowledge and techniques for improving people’s health and the efficiency of health and social services in a series of interactive “Engaging Patients as Partners” sessions for cohealth staff.
Sobel, Consulting Professor of Stanford University’s School of Medicine in California, and author of several books which challenge some of the foundations of traditional medical practice, is in Australia by invitation of cohealth, a leading provider of health and support services in Melbourne’s CBD, northern and western suburbs.
In his work and again today, Sobel makes clear that changing behaviour is the single biggest opportunity to improve health and that our largest resource is the people themselves who provide self-care.
“Drawing from the science of happiness, medical evidence, and clinical practice, we can re-think the usual approaches to health behaviour change and set ourselves up for successful change to boost confidence and improve well-being”, Sobel said.
cohealth Chief Executive, Lyn Morgain, commends Sobel’s strategies for improving people’s health and health services and sees his work as key in addressing the mismatch between patient needs and the way in which many health services are currently delivered.
“David’s work acknowledges that partnership among clients, families, communities and health professionals is critical to achieve behaviour change and that in order to have such partnership there needs to be a shift among health workers from seeing clients as passive consumers of health care, to seeing them as the health care provider for themselves and their families”, Ms Morgain said.
“I wholeheartedly agree with David’s statement today that ‘people are the most underutilised resource in the health care system”.
“Clients are the experts and clearly we need to learn from those who are successful in coping with their illness. We need to get better at how we engage with clients and how we facilitate connection beyond formal medical interactions”, said Ms Morgain.
During today’s presentations Sobel shared simple techniques and questions for enabling effective engagement between clients and practitioners and facilitating the partnership key to creating behaviour change.