Innovative Approaches in Chronic Care Management: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals

Did you that almost 1 in 2 Americans are living with one or more chronic conditions? That’s according to empirical research in the National Library of Medicine. It goes to show that chronic diseases are a pandemic that healthcare professionals must pull out all the stops to halt. Fortunately, we’re noticing a lot of creativity and innovation in CCM, which are helping to turn the tables in our favor as we take the fight to legacy management approaches that have often held us back. In this article, we’ll help some key innovative approaches in CCM that are truly making a difference in America and beyond.

Embracing funding innovations

Traditional funding systems for CCM haven’t always been the best. If anything, they have become a barrier for people living with chronic care conditions, who may not be able to foot the hefty expenses associated with their ailment.

However, this might all be changing with certain innovations in CCM funding such as the concept of pooled and joint funding.  In particular, here are a few ways some healthcare institutions around the world are implementing this:

  • Capitation payments – This is helping to offset some of the financial risk from the patient to providers
  • Government funding – We’re also seeing an alliance between private and government sectors to create joint funding kitties for chronic care management
  • Global fund drives – International organizations are also joining hands to help fund CCM, with a great example being The Global Fund

With CCM usually taking a heavy financial toll on the patient, these funding innovations and others will help cushion them from the financial burden to help make CCM more equitable for all.

Virtual care solutions for patient support

Oftentimes, we treat healthcare individuals as passengers in their own healthcare, as they take on passive participant roles that actually decrease the quality of health outcomes. However, healthcare professionals can put patients in the driver’s seat, where they belong, by leveraging virtual technologies to help support patients to look after their well-being.

That being said, here are a few ways virtual care innovations are being put to work:

  • Self-care portals – Providers are equipping patients with self-care portals where they can get more information and specialist care about their condition. In some cases, medical chatbots can even customize responses to address individual patient needs.
  • Patient reminders – with 39% of patients forgetting to take medications, patient reminders are an invaluable tool for ensuring treatment adherence.
  • Online consultations – Virtual care apps now put providers and their patients within touching distance, enabling patients to get their concerns addressed by their physicians in real time via various audio-visual technologies.

RPM technology for adverse event prevention

Chronic conditions such as heart disease often come with the risk of potentially fatal adverse events such as heart attacks, for example. With the signs of deterioration sometimes being too subtle to detect or with patients sometimes ignoring the warning signs altogether as they cling to a false sense of safety, there’s a dire need to provide a means for physicians to keep in touch with patients’ vitals around the clock.

That’s where remote patient monitoring technology comes into play to help keep tabs on the patient’s condition without the patient needing to intervene. That being said, RPM contains an ecosystem of wearables, which can help providers pick up important health metrics such as follows:

  • BP monitors – for tracking blood pressure
  • Glucometer – for monitoring blood sugar
  • ECG monitors – for monitoring heartbeats and rhythm

All in all, RPM technologies can help doctors monitor various vitals to detect a problem that occurs when certain thresholds are violated. Healthcare professionals can, in turn, provide more timely intervention that helps to get around adverse events in the first place.  

Enhancing Care Collaboration with a DMS

The problem with chronic care management is that it involves a large number of different teams, departments and specialists. With many hospitals and care facilities having fractured systems, it’s possible for the chronic care management process to be disjointed, more so if the process relies on paper-based strategies and legacy information systems that create data silos.

To combat this, we’re seeing the adoption of intelligent document management systems (DMS). These are helping not just to digitize patient records but to even centralize this information into a cloud-based repository that providers can access in real-time from anywhere.

With important collaborative features such as document versioning, co-editing features, and automatic workflow approvals, among others, health professionals are able to be on the same page, sometimes quite literally, with a DMS helping to ensure that everyone is pulling in the same direction.

Smart referrals are streamlining referral processes

When the patient requires specialized care for their symptoms, it’s likely that the primary physician will offer a referral as they recommend a specialist who can handle this aspect of their care.

While that isn’t an issue, the problem with traditional referral processes is that they can be slow and inaccurate, leading to delayed care for the patient.  In fact, HealthView X has reported that the US makes 20 million inaccurate referrals annually, which shows that this is not a matter we should sweep under the rug.

In steps smart referral systems, are helping to address this challenge to ensure more appropriate referrals for chronic care patients. Here’s how the technology generally works:

  • It gives healthcare professionals referral templates
  • Physicians can auto-populate a template with the patient’s record
  • Then they can attach additional files to this document
  • Afterward, physicians can access a comprehensive service directory. This contains data about specialists, including their locations, wait times, and other important details.
  • Physicians can then send referral requests electronically to get alters about receipt and acceptance.

Overall, smart referrals can help you streamline the referral process to improve access to chronic care specialists for patients.

Aura Health Solutions- where health meets innovation

The power of innovation is key to better chronic care management and health. At Aura Health, we’re fully aware of this and are always researching and implementing the latest innovations in CCM as we seek to continually raise the bar with innovation that saves lives. If you’d like to redefine what’s possible with your medical workflow and unleash the full potential of chronic care innovation, we’re here to help you get started. Contact Aura Health right now to leverage innovative ideas and life-changing solutions for your facility.