Chronic conditions are very common and costly for patients and the healthcare system. Recent studies have shown the prevalence of chronic conditions is high, with more than 50% of adults aged 18+ having been diagnosed with at least one chronic condition, and nearly 30% of this group diagnosed with 2 or more chronic conditions.
Utilizing virtual care tools can be an effective strategy in helping to treat and manage chronic conditions. We’ve detailed a few ways digital health tools can improve care, and help patients to better manage their conditions.
Improving Access to Care
Technology like remote patient monitoring and telehealth video visits can help patients stay connected to their care team remotely, and help alleviate the barriers to accessing care, like costs, transportation, and physical limitations due to chronic conditions.
Costs and transportation are cited as major factors in lack of access to care. Transportation was cited as the third most common barrier when seeking access to care. 1 in 5 Americans live in a rural location, and rural residents face large discrepancies in healthcare equality compared to their urban counterparts. Telehealth can help patients access appropriate care to providers and specialists, when not conveniently accessible.
These tools can help ensure timely and appropriate access to care.
Enabling Self-Care Management
Patients play the main role in managing their care, and using tools that promote patient engagement will create an ideal environment for helping patients take charge in managing their health. Patients managing chronic conditions have significant commitments to healthy lifestyle behaviors they need to adhere to, as well as follow treatment plans closely. Therefore, it is extremely vital for providers to support patients with tools and resources to be successful.
Using remote patient monitoring, patients can monitor their measurement readings for trends, patterns, and if they see an abnormal reading, they can reflect on what may have caused the abnormality. For example, if a patient had a high glucose reading, they can review what they ate, and take notes for future reference. Patients have immediate feedback, and can modify their behavior.
Clinicians are busy, and patients can be a partner in actively monitoring their health status. The “stoplight” guide is a tool used regularly to help patients manage their chronic conditions, with three “zones,” “Green - all clear,” “Yellow - caution,” and “Red - medical alert,” zones. These zones include symptoms, measurement reading thresholds, and specific instructions for care management, or when to seek care.
Arming patients with the ability to monitor and reflect is key to self-care confidence, and long-term behavior change.
Enhanced data insights for clinicians
Enhanced data insights can be leveraged by providers to enhance care, improve efficiencies, and save time and costs. We’ve outlined some of the benefits below.
Real-time data from remote patient monitoring technologies enables clinicians to provide faster interventions, and adjust therapy remotely. Care coordination and time management can be improved by allowing clinicians to “rank” patients based on their symptoms / severity of measurement readings, allowing them to prioritize patient care. Having a more complete picture of patient health status can lead to better medical decision making, and better quality of care for the patient. If care is needed, telehealth can be used for a quick check-in, or patients can be directed to an appropriate level of care, preventing unnecessary care utilization.
Clinicians can leverage digital health tools to monitor patient adherence to treatment plans and provide timely coaching that can include symptom management, diet education, disease management education, appointment reminders, medication review, exercise and more.
Remote monitoring and telehealth tools can empower patients with the knowledge to appropriately manage their chronic conditions, which can lead to a better quality of life.
Clinicians can leverage telehealth tools to provide timely care, improve patient outcomes, increase patient access to care, and improve patient satisfaction.
Life365 Remote Patient Monitoring Integrated Platform
Life365’s patient monitoring platform drives the shift to proactive care and on-going care management.
To learn more about virtual care for chronic disease management, call 888-818-2322 or contact us to request a demo.