The Growth of Chronic Care Management with TelehealthMeri BrickFebruary 09, 20225 minute read
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 6 in 10 adults in the United States have a chronic health condition… and this number is continuing to rise. With an increasing number of Americans being diagnosed with chronic conditions, the healthcare industry has been seeking an answer to better manage and treat these concerns. The answer? Telehealth.
In this blog, we will be covering how telehealth is improving chronic care management and the benefits that come with it. Ready to dive in? Here we go!
Chronic Care Management Meets Telehealth
With a growing majority of adults in America dealing with chronic conditions, a solution to help them lead longer, healthier, and happier lives is of the utmost importance. Thankfully, the mass telehealth adoption came at the perfect time to make a major impact in this area.
When it comes to managing chronic diseases, telehealth has assisted in many ways. Here are just a few…
Synchronous Telehealth Visits
Synchronous telehealth visits are real-time virtual visits between a patient and provider. For patients who live far away from their provider, have transportation issues or even have difficulty getting time off work or securing childcare, telehealth is a game-changer.
Offering this extra tool to monitor patients with chronic conditions allows for frequent, easy, and effective visits without traveling hours each way to be seen.
Remote Patient Monitoring
Remote patient monitoring allows patients to use electronic devices to monitor their condition while also reporting that information to their care team in real-time to observe, report, and analyze their health. These devices vary depending on the condition being monitored. A lot of them you’ve likely heard of (or may even use yourself):
Blood pressure monitor: This device is extremely common and most likely to appear at pharmacies, doctors’ offices, and even in a portable version for your home. This is where remote patient monitoring comes into play. At home, the inflatable cuff fills with air and squeezes the patient’s arm to calculate their blood pressure. An essential device in monitoring patients with high blood pressure!
Blood glucose monitor: This is a device used in managing diabetes by monitoring the blood sugar levels of a patient. It takes a single drop of blood to operate and instantly reports the blood sugar level of the patient so they can track it throughout the day.
Heart rate monitor: This device, worn by the patient, helps clinicians monitor and detect heart arrhythmias. When worn, it records data continuously throughout the day so the provider can identify when or what may be triggering the patient’s irregular heartbeat.
Smartwatches: When smartwatches first hit the market, they were used as personal fitness trackers. Now, they can be used to monitor patients! Crazy, right? Many smartwatches, like Apple Watch and Fitbit, have a built-in ECG (electrocardiogram) so they can monitor a patient's heart rate and alert the patient and their care team of any abnormalities.
Automized Telehealth Software
The development of telehealth software has allowed patients to set up automated alerts, usually through a text message, for when they need to take their medication (including the approved dosage and other specific instructions to follow) and appointment reminders.
The Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) has found that text messages to patients with asthma, diabetes, HIV infection, and cardiovascular disease have helped them better follow their medication protocol. It seems small but it's a big win for patients who have trouble remembering to take their medications.
Now that we’ve covered how telehealth is improving chronic care management, it’s time to talk about the benefits that come with the pair!
The many benefits telehealth brings to chronic care management and the patients who suffer from these conditions are unbeatable. Let’s dive into some of those top benefits:
Increase access to care: An estimated 57 million Americans live in rural areas and lack access to healthcare facilities nearby, this means traveling long distances to get the care they need. Many of these patients suffer from chronic conditions, about 60% of them according to the statistics provided by the CDC. Having telehealth as an added tool for chronic care management eliminates many of these long trips and allows patients to be seen from the comfort of their own homes.
Decrease healthcare costs: Hospital admissions for patients with a chronic disease is one of the highest costs associated with these conditions. By providers having an extra tool to use to monitor their patients, treatment and management can be done in real-time to avoid patients having to be admitted into the hospital. Decreasing hospital admissions means decreasing healthcare costs, a win-win for all parties!
Improve care outcomes: Utilizing telehealth as an additional tool to manage chronic conditions allows providers to receive frequent updates on the patient's condition. Whether this is through remote patient monitoring devices that constantly report a patient’s health status or recurring video visits to touch base on their condition and treatment plan, telemedicine is improving care outcomes for these patients.
As you can see, there is a reason why telehealth is revolutionizing the chronic disease space. The future is looking bright for this relationship with patients, providers, and chronic care companies wanting it to stick around for the long haul!
A Solution for Your Telehealth Needs
While we’re on the topic of telehealth, we’d love to introduce OpenLoop!
Who is OpenLoop? OpenLoop is a telehealth company that powers other telehealth companies. We partner with hospitals, clinics, virtual care companies, and chronic care organizations to assist in launching and scaling their telehealth services.
What do we do to power telehealth companies? We offer full-stack clinical services to assist as much or as little as you’d like. Purely in need of certified physicians or specialists to staff your virtual visits? We have a fully vetted network of the best! Ready to offload the day-to-day office operations of practice management? We have a dedicated team of experts in that area too.
Here are a couple of other tasks we’ll gladly take off your to-do list, so you can focus on what you do best…growing the business.
Regulatory & Legal - From PC groups to MSOs, we can get you set up and ready to see patients legally in all 50 states.
Platform Access - Seamlessly integrate your own technology & software or tap into ours! Our intuitive platform provides EHR, patient scheduling, a blend of asynchronous and synchronous visit functionality, and so much more.
Interested in exploring the ways we can power your telehealth services? Reach out here and let’s grab some time to talk.
Jess Greiner Director, Marketing