What is Exercise is Medicine?
The vision of Exercise is Medicine® (EIM), a global health initiative managed by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), is to make physical activity assessment and promotion a standard in clinical care, connecting health care with evidence-based physical activity resources for people everywhere and of all abilities.
EIM encourages physicians and other health care providers to include physical activity when designing treatment plans and to refer patients to evidence-based exercise programs and qualified exercise professionals. EIM is committed to the belief that physical activity promotes optimal health and is integral in the prevention and treatment of many medical conditions.
Step 1: Physical Activity Assessment (PAVS)
Clinic staff administer the PAVS (2-question physical activity vital sign) at every patient visit. The PAVS is embedded into the electronic health record to ensure it is integrated into existing clinic workflow.
1. On average, how many days per week do you do moderate to strenuous exercise for at least 10 minutes without stopping? _______ days
2. On average, how many minutes per day do you exercise at this level? _______ minutes
Step 2: Physical Activity Prescription
Primary Care Providers write physical activity prescriptions based on the patient’s current health status and physical activity levels as indicated by the PAVS. Brief counseling is also offered to help patients overcome barriers and challenges to becoming more active. Walking prescriptions are encouraged as an easy and inexpensive way to reach activity goals. Based on patient’s needs, some receive muscle strengthening and stretching prescriptions.
Step 3: Physical Activity Referral
Clinic staff refer patients to healthcare or community-based resources such as parks where they can “fill their exercise prescription.” The healthcare team is trained in identifying existing free or low-cost facilities where patients can safely increase their physical activity levels.
Rowan County Health Department
Serves adult, youth, and maternal patients of all income levels in Rowan County, North Carolina. Forty percent of patients utilize Medicaid. Phase 1 of the EIM intervention is administered to all adult health patients at every visit. Phase 2 will expand to other clinical services.
Listen to Community Care Clinic of Rowan staff share how they are paving the way for upstream medical care for their patients by putting EIM into action. Hear personal stories from patients!
In the News
Community Care Clinic of Rowan Accomplishments
Out of 819 patients: (September 2018 – 2019)
Rowan County Health Department anticipated outcomes will be available Spring 2020.