Can Telehealth Help Reduce Chronic Disease?

Chronic illness affects an astronomical number of individuals in the United States. 117 Million adults have one or more eligible chronic conditions. 75{ed3bd030c7866d13759bf690da8a42da29309e7154bf0066ae38b1c082e5c39d} of that same number suffer from at least two eligible conditions, making them suitable to receive Chronic Care Management (CCM) services from a provider who offers them. Chronic illness has the ability to defeat someone, overcome them, and diminish their quality of life should they not have the proper tools, organization, or care at their side to assist them in their fight. Unfortunately, the battle against a chronic condition is not expected to disappear anytime soon. The good news is that there are tools and assistance that exists to equip patients with the armor they need to stand up to their multiple chronic conditions and increase their quality of life as well as the quality of care they are receiving. One of these tools is Telehealth. Telehealth has been around in one form or another for the past decade, but is still revolutionizing the way quality care is delivered to patients in need. How does Telehealth help patients battle chronic disease?

Benefits of Telehealth and CCM:

Telehealth is the use of an alternative visit, more specifically a video visit, to meet with patients via a compatible electronic device versus a traditional office visit. This is especially desirable to patients battling chronic conditions because of the intense number of visits they have to complete with multiple providers on a monthly basis. Here are some of the benefits of Telehealth for a patient battling multiple chronic conditions.

1)    Simple Access

Patients who are battling two or more chronic diseases have to see multiple providers for their multiple illnesses. If a patient is lucky, these providers might all be located in one building. More often than not though these providers are specialists who are located all over. The patient has to drive all over the place to see multiple providers in order to receive the care they need. This is even more difficult for patients who live in rural areas, with long commutes to their providers. Telehealth enables patients to cut out the commute and meet with their specialty providers via a virtual Telehealth visit. This takes place from the comfort of their own home where the patient can remain comfortable. Telehealth creates a more accessible road to the management of chronic disease.

2)    Likely to Visit

One of the biggest issues that arise for patients who are overwhelmed by their chronic disease is the fact that they avoid their providers. The idea of visiting with one provider regarding such a large part of their life starts to seem impossible, let alone two or three different providers for multiple conditions. Telehealth helps to relieve the anxieties of patients battling chronic conditions by helping to make their visits seem more manageable. They can just quickly log on and visit with a provider, log out, and resume their day. Whereas a traditional visit might take up a large amount of time, causing stress and anxiety, prompting a patient to avoid the process overall. The more a patient addresses their chronic disease, the better their quality of life will be. Telehealth helps make it easy for patients who struggle to stay on top everything.

3)    Compliance

Two of the main reasons that chronic care fails is because patients fail to come to follow up visits and they fail to stay compliant with their medications. Telehealth acts as a solution for both of these issues. Follow up visits help a provider make sure patients understand how their medications are supposed to be taken and are being taken correctly. Telehealth as a follow-up visit ensures that patients not only receive follow up care, but also remain compliant with their medications and maintain a higher quality of life.

Other Chronic Care Management Tools/Benefits:

1)    Phone Check-ins

While Telehealth is one of the most important tools in offering quality care to the chronically ill and improving chronic disease, there are other tools to offer your patients as well. For example, with Chronic Care Management Patients can receive a monthly phone call that helps make sure everything regarding their care plan is in check. It also connects them to resources and services to help them grow and succeed in their care.

2)    Scheduling Assistance

Due to the overwhelming number of things chronically ill patients must keep track of, scheduling assistance can help them keep their timeline in check. Another tool alongside Telehealth, scheduling assistance helps make quality care is less overwhelming and more accessible for patients by sending them reminders and scheduling appointments that follow their care plan.