Center for Health Communications Research (CHCR):
U-M’s Virtuosos in Patient Education
“The CHCR aims to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time in the right way.” - Larry An, MD, Director, Center for Health Communications Research
If the art of patient education is making messages personal, meaningful and relevant, and the science is making them evidence-based, nowhere are these tasks executed more skillfully or brought to as wide an audience than at the Center for Health Communications Research (CHCR). A unique and highly valued resource at U-M, the center is directed by Larry An, MD, Associate Professor in the Division of General Medicine, and aims, he says, to develop tools that help health care providers “deliver the right message to the right person at the right time in the right way.”
This means learning about a patient’s information needs, attitudes, beliefs, concerns and symptoms, and personalizing both the content and method of delivery to inform and motivate that person to make healthier choices.
The center’s team of behavioral scientists, health counselors, communication professionals, and software developers works with physicians and researchers to develop an array of tailored interventions, from apps and animations to automated calls, print materials and emails. These tools combine the reach of a mass media campaign with the nuanced, personalized communication of a one-on-one counseling session.
It’s a sophisticated effort that produces real results. “We’ve done research showing that if we put together the message in the right way, we can increase activation in areas of the brain associated with decision making and memory formation,” says An, “and that when we activate those areas of the brain, people are more likely to go on and successfully change their behavior.”
This is why the CHCR has been a key, behind-the-scenes partner in nearly 200 patient education efforts across campus, including several of those highlighted in this section - and additional projects are underway.
Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation (IHPI) Clinician Scholars Program
The Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation (IHPI) Clinician Scholars Program, part of the National Clinician Scholars Program, offers unique clinical and community-based research training through intensive mentorship for clinicians as change agents driving policy-relevant research and partnerships to improve health and healthcare. The University of Michigan is one of four sites who participate in this program. The goal of the program is to cultivate health equity, eliminate health disparities, invent new models of care, and achieve higher quality healthcare at lower cost by training nurse and physician researchers who work as leaders and collaborators embedded in communities, healthcare systems, government, foundations, and think tanks in the U.S. and around the world.
Conferences / Continuing Medical Education (CME) Opportunities
The General Medicine division has regularly scheduled conferences including a bi-monthly journal club, two weekly case conferences, and a periodic morbidity and mortality conference. The majority of these activities are available for physicians to earn CME credit. The University of Michigan Medical School is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. As an accredited CME provider, the Medical School can designate AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ for university activities that meet ACCME requirements.