Managing the care and health either for yourself or for someone close to you can be a daunting task. However, if you look at the possibilities of employing an established program, the overwhelming feeling of having to manage each moment dissipates; somewhat like how much easier it is to manage your money in a program like Quicken rather than balancing a checkbook at the end of each month. The care management programs available today look to simplify the process of daily care, improve the possibility of positive outcomes, and avoid extreme adverse events.
In a way, you could describe a care management program as a personalize checklist that is customized to each person, changes as need change and helps to make the complex understandable. There are usually two components to this program: the human component and the software or computer component. Each one works with the other and is designed to help a patient and supporting partners make sure the best care is being provided.
Care Management Programs Can Improve Healthcare Delivery
Care management programs are set up for patients with complex, and long-term need for care. These patients have chronic health conditions such as diabetes, COPD, arthritis, or cancer, and may include a number of serious health issues that require constant care, may include many visits to doctors and emergency departments on a yearly basis. To improve care or overall health it is important to manage each health issue on a continuous basis. Studies have shown that participants in a care plan not only are more likely to have less emergency visits to doctors or hospitals, but can expect to see decreases in present concerns such as with blood sugar levels, blood pressure, cholesterol and chronic pain levels.
The true significance is that health issues are dealt with regularly so as not to let any aspect of care falter and thus patient and professional are playing a game of catch up to try and mitigate new or inflamed matters. It is much easier to deal with the trickle of water that is the here and now than it is to confront the floods that easily overtake and consume. With a care management program, it makes it possible to watch over the large and small tasks that are required each day so as to avoid the cascading effects that usually accompany lapses in care. The checklist of duties make it straightforward as to what is needed, making sure appointments are scheduled and met, prescriptions are taken and renewed as needed, and allows for changes as the health of the patient demands.
Care Management Programs Can Reduce Costs
It doesn’t take a genius to recognize the rising cost of healthcare. Some of this is easy to understand with the implementation of many new technologies and procedures, but this isn’t always an easy pill to swallow if a patient has many health problems and is under the care of several doctors. Along the same lines as care improvement, when a patient is monitoring and managing their care, he or she is less likely to need emergency care, which is much more costly than routine visits with a physician.
The healthcare organizations are also invested in having patients participate in care management programs because it reduces their costs and resources. This is not to say that organizations are trying to eliminate necessary emergency room visits, but if it is possible, it is much better for both the patient and the hospital if the number of patients in a community that needed the emergency services could be reduced.
Care Management Programs Help Predict the Future
Predictive medicine is nothing new, but is growing in accuracy and capacity due to healthcare information being gathered and the ability for it to be analyzed more succinctly. With the power to know and see what a patient might need, that heads off some of the urgencies that could be created due to complications or general issues with a patient’s chronic conditions. This pattern of treatment not only helps to deal with current circumstances, but to either deal with possible situations in the future that might be managed and eradicated or minimizing the affects or severity.
This is an area that relies heavily upon the computer side of healthcare. Having access to information that can help indicate proper methods of treatment, best practices and a vast library of similar occurrences can lead to better outcomes, a better standard of living and less need for medical interventions whether on a daily or otherwise basis. The computer input also takes a look at characteristics like demographics, socioeconomics, education, and work status to create a risk level assessment as to patients that could be more likely to not follow through on care guidance or medication adherence. When a healthcare professional knows who is more likely to let things slip for financial or other reasons, it is easier to then put more focus and/or resources to ensuring those patients remain at the forefront.
Overall, having and employing a care management program is a way to safeguard against unnecessary and avoidable adverse health events. The thought process behind it is to take away the guessing game that can sometimes accompany chronic illnesses, and it also works to better the health of the patient. Many care givers have done very well without it, yet with an aging population that requires more and more attention, isn’t it better to have a specific and easy-to-follow guide that answers your questions, allows you to ask questions and makes providing help much simpler?
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