Today, more than half of the U.S. adult population has at least one chronic health condition, and upward of 40% have multiple. These chronic diseases – heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease included – are the nation’s leading causes of death, disability and healthcare costs. In fact, some 90% of the nation’s $4.1 trillion in annual healthcare expenditures are spent on treating chronic and mental health conditions.
The complexities and expenses associated with chronic diseases make their prevention and treatment burdensome; plus, the challenges are being compounded. Facing the rising prevalence of chronic diseases, an aging population and worsening shortage of primary care physicians, the treatment and prevention pathways of chronic diseases are on track to get even worse.
It’s clear: the way our healthcare system has long treated chronic diseases, with occasional check-ins and at-home management, isn’t enough. Why? The problem of adherence to at-home chronic disease management remains unsolved. But technology offers a remedy.
Here we explore 3 ways primary care and lifestyle medicine providers can utilize digital wellness solutions to help patients stay on track after, and in between, their in-person appointments.
No. 1 : Establish regular connections
The current management model for chronic health conditions is failing patients. Today, patients schedule appointments, undergo testing and receive diagnoses, treatment plans and medicine. Often, patients are then left to their own devices. Providers can do better. Utilizing a digital wellness solution, providers can fill in the gaps between appointments to check in on patients and monitor their progress and adherence to recommended treatment plans. These regular patient-provider connections can establish trust and foster meaningful engagement that drives lifestyle changes, treatment consistency and healthy outcomes.
No. 2 : Provide convenient, flexible care
Patient lives aren’t linear. They have ups and downs, take left turns and don’t always go according to plan. This means to truly be effective, treatment plans should factor in a level of flexibility that allows patients to adjust their care and goals as their lives inevitably shift. Whether a patient is trying to lose weight, quit smoking, reduce stressors or improve their overall health, providers can now offer convenient, flexible care pathways that address individual health issues and goals digitally. With the right tool, providers can launch on-demand courses, content and videos that educate patients with quick information hits and tips on improving their health and reducing chronic disease risks when it’s convenient.
No. 3: Enhance patient experiences
With digitally enabled at-home support, providers can boost patient engagement. How? By delivering personalized care experiences that align with an individual’s lifestyle, health needs, goals and learning styles. Providers can now launch, and scale, patient-specific care pathways with the help of digital tools that automate personalized support, patient reminders and content specific to a patient’s health conditions and interests.
As providers grapple with how best to manage the continued strains on staffing, the growing number of aging patients, the rise in chronic conditions and increased patient needs, they need to consider the available technology solutions bridging the widening gaps in healthcare. By leveraging a digital wellness solution, providers can support patients beyond their in-person appointments to make chronic disease management easier and patient goals achievable.
Discover how Avidon Health’s Engagement Rx® can aid primary care and lifestyle medicine providers in helping patients achieve lasting outcomes in their health, to ultimately prevent and treat chronic disease, get in touch with our team.