Chronic diseases are the leading cause of death in the United States. Despite efforts to address the problem, many of these conditions are poorly managed. Up to date, many Americans with chronic diseases don’t get the care they need.
Chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer can be controlled if detected early enough and treated appropriately. However, many people live with these for years without receiving the care that could help manage them. These have a significant impact on the US healthcare system, patients and their families, and home care service providers such as Elite Pro Home Care and others.
Here are seven tools that can help people manage chronic conditions:
1. Electronic Health Records (EHRs)
The use of EHRs has increased in the US. As of 2016, nearly all physicians use EMRs in their practices. It’s an important tool to help physicians communicate with each other and ensure that patients receive the care they need.
Primary care physicians use EHRs to provide high-quality healthcare. EHRs offer numerous advantages over paper charts, including faster access to patient information, improved communication between doctors and patients, better tracking of diseases, and higher quality of care. It provides a significant advantage for people with chronic conditions who must follow a treatment plan. That makes it easier for them to keep track of their condition and manage any co-existing conditions.
2. Disease Management Programs (DMPs)
A disease management program can help people with chronic conditions stay on top of their health by offering medical practitioners who understand their feelings and give them the care they need. These programs can also help people with chronic conditions manage their symptoms and provide emotional support. They can track their progress and identify any triggers that may cause flare-ups.
DMPs help people stay on top of their health by providing regular access to doctors who understand their feelings and psychological support. A DMP offers several benefits to people with chronic conditions, including access to doctors who understand how they feel and can provide more personalized care than general practitioners. The programs also help patients manage their symptoms, track progress, and identify triggers that cause flare-ups so they can take appropriate preventive measures.
Telemedicine, or distance medicine, is a growing trend in the US. Around 2.5% of all physician office visits are made using telemedicine technologies. This tool can help physicians reach more patients who struggle to get to their medical appointments due to time constraints or mobility issues. It also makes it cheaper for patients to get the care they need, especially if they travel long distances.
Telemedicine enables physicians to see more patients in different locations without being physically present with them. It’s beneficial for people with chronic conditions who can’t travel due to age or illness. Telemedicine is also less expensive than traveling to a physical location for appointments, making it easier for patients to make the care they need easily accessible.
4. Personal Health Records
Thanks to online healthcare portals, personal health records (PHR) are becoming increasingly common. A PHR can be password-protected, so only those with authorization from the patient can view medical history. These records can include past illnesses, treatments, and medications used by the patient, making it easier for new physicians to provide the necessary care while reducing medical errors.
PHRs allow people to keep track of their medical information, so they don’t have to repeat it every time they see a physician. It reduces the risk of errors on doctors and makes it easier for new physicians to provide the proper medical attention. A PHR can also be password-protected so only those with authorization from the patient can view their records, making it more secure than leaving a paper trail in a filing cabinet.
5. Patient Portals
More and more healthcare providers are implementing patient portals, which give patients personal access to their health records. Many of these systems allow individuals to email doctors from the portal, request appointments, and refill prescriptions online. Patient portals help improve chronic disease management by making it easier for people with chronic conditions to communicate with physicians about their needs. That makes it more convenient to schedule appointments and refill prescriptions, which helps prevent lapses in treatment.
Patient portals provide online access to individual health records, allowing people to email their doctors and request appointments. That makes it easier for patients with chronic conditions to communicate with physicians about their needs, which helps improve chronic disease management. It also reduces the patient’s need to travel long distances for appointments, refill prescriptions, or get lab tests done.
6. Mobile Apps
Mobile applications are also being used to improve chronic disease management. Today, many apps provide symptom checkers to help people determine what medical care they need, including information on how often symptoms typically occur and at what time of day. Apps can help patients track their medications, monitor symptoms, and reach out for support when necessary.
Apps also give physicians the ability to communicate with patients about their needs. In some cases, people who download certain apps may get a text message to refill their prescriptions or take a certain medication. Many pharmacies also have apps that help customers check for drug recalls and store medical information.
In addition to symptom checkers that allow individuals to look up possible symptoms of certain diseases, apps can track medications and monitor symptoms. They also enable physicians to communicate with patients through the app itself. When you download certain apps, you may even get a text message when it’s time for your next refill or particular medication. Many pharmacies have apps that help customers check for drug recalls and store medical information.
7. Wearable Devices
Lastly, there’s a growing interest in wearable devices to manage chronic conditions. Many patients already track their daily activity levels and food intake with these tools, which give them a better idea of how healthy they are. Now, many companies are developing apps that allow individuals to measure glucose levels through sweat, check blood pressure and heart rate, or even track sleep patterns.
Wearable devices can also provide reminders when medications need to be taken and store information on how individuals react to treatment plans. This information can then be sent directly to the patient’s physician or used by the patient’s PHR provider.
Take control of your health by using these seven tools to improve chronic disease management. By reducing the barriers between patients and physicians, these technologies make it easier for people with chronic conditions to manage their conditions from a distance. While each of these tools is important in its way, it’s clear that together, they’re making life easier for people with chronic conditions both at home and at work. These technologies also help reduce the limits of distance and time, allowing patients with chronic conditions more control over their health.