This week a new phase of a global initiative was unveiled designed to address the rapid increase of chronic disease and skyrocketing health care costs. It is called the Exercise is Medicine Solution (EIM Solution). Managing this initiative is: American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), American Council on Exercise (ACE), and the Medical Fitness Association (MFA). The goal is to bring together health care systems, clinicians, fitness professionals, and community resources to improve people’s health and cut healthcare costs.
The Exercise is Medicine® program is actually not new. It’s been around since 2008 and has grown to 43 countries around the globe but never in the United States. “We are grateful for all we’ve accomplished in the first eight years,” said Adrian Hutber, vice president of Exercise is Medicine, in a news release. “The EIM Solution marks the beginning of the next phase in our strategy, which is to engage major health systems and communities and work together to improve health and combat chronic diseases by promoting physical activity and fitness.”
One major U.S. health care system is already onboard… the Greenville Health System in South Carolina. It’s among the 20 largest health systems in the country. The EIM Solution there will include:
- Incorporating Exercise is Medicine as required teaching into all four years of curriculum to educate future physicians on the health benefits of exercise.
- Incorporating physical activity as a vital sign in their EPIC Electronic Medical Record (EMR)
- Using EIM Your Prescription for Health patient education material in the EPIC EMR
- Employing a full-time EIM Coordinator to take patient referrals and work with them to refer to either Greenville Healthcare System Medical Fitness Center or one of the Greenville community Y locations. The Onboarding Coordinator at the Y will receive all patient referrals, meet with them for onboarding, and assign them to an EIM group physical activity class.
Need a solution in your community? Visit exerciseismedicine.org to learn more.