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Objectives. We explored the benefits of using community health worker (CHW) encounter forms to collect data on patient interactions and assessed the effectiveness of these forms in guiding and directing interactions.

Methods. A 1-page standardized encounter form was developed to document topics discussed during visits with diabetes patients. A portion of the form was designed to be used as a script to guide the interaction and assist patients in setting appropriate self-management goals. Data were also collected via CHW work logs and interviews with CHWs and their supervisors to validate findings.

Results. Data were collected for 1198 interactions with 540 patients at 6 community health centers. Self-management goals were set during 62% of encounters. With respect to the most recent self-management goal set, patients who had set a challenging goal were more likely to be in the action stage of change than in other stages. Work logs revealed that CHWs engaged in a number of activities not involving direct patient interactions and thus not captured on encounter forms.

Conclusions. Evaluating and monitoring CHWs’ daily activities has been challenging. Encounter forms have great potential for documenting the work of CHWs with patients.