Chronic diseases are increasingly common and costly. Rates have steadily increased since the year 2000 with nearly eight million new chronic care patients diagnosed every five years, according to the CDC.
As patient needs change over time, so should our approach to high-quality care. Chronic diseases now affect more than half of the population, so single appointments and acute treatments are less and less common.
Intervention goals and strategies have shifted toward a long-term approach. Now physicians are tasked with avoiding complications, slowing progression, and improving overall health while minimizing negative disease effects. This kind of work can put a strain on providers and gridlock resources.
Luckily, remote patient monitoring is an effective way to reduce costs and improve outcomes for patients and providers, especially when it comes to disease management:
- Speeding Up Treatment Access
Missed appointments and delayed responses often lead to costly hospital stays and avoidable ER visits. A 2010 study by the Commonwealth Fund found that only 57% of American patients were able to access a same-day or next-day appointment. Virtual care management can increase patient access with more flexible appointment options and proactive remote monitoring to detect problematic symptoms sooner.
- Empowering Self-Management
Self-management programs are a proven tool to help aging adults manage symptoms and improve outcomes. These dedicated workshops focus on day-to-day decision-making and problem-solving with easy-to-implement health strategies.
Telehealth service providers should be aware of these educational programs and work to provide patients with resources. Of course, integrated health coaching can offer many of the same benefits with a personalized approach by offering case-specific wellness tools.
- Improving Data Capture and Analysis
Virtual care management is most effective when paired with telehealth devices for at-home monitoring. It’s often difficult for patients to judge their own health progress without measurable data. This can lead to patients guessing or giving up altogether.
Consistent data capture gives patients a way to monitor and report their status with better buy-in. By assigning a health coach to the remote monitoring program, physicians can help their patients make sense of the results and test with improved accuracy.
- Incorporating Health Education
The CDC estimates that more than 50% of the US population requires ongoing disease management, and 75% of patients over the age of 65 have at least two chronic conditions. Comorbidity complicates the treatment process, and many of these diseases are preventable.
Research has shown that integrated health coaching, in particular, is an effective tool to motivate patients, promote healthy lifestyle changes, and reduce comorbidity rates.
- Maximizing In-Person and Virtual Care Resources
The best remote monitoring tools work as an extension of your brick-and-mortar clinic. By adding virtual health coaching and at-home disease management to your pool of resources, you can devote more time and energy to patients that require in-person service.
RPM tools can improve outcomes while also reducing the number of unnecessary follow-up visits. Eliminating even one appointment per year for patients with hypertension could save the healthcare industry $682 million!
Welby Health has a dedicated team of virtual case managers, data scientists, health coaches, and licensed RNs who can answer questions, monitor symptoms, and adjust therapies between visits. It’s time to modernize your treatment approach and unlock smarter telehealth resources.