A Grand Problem of Readmissions of Chronically Ill Patients

About half of the adults in the United States are battling a chronic disease; this epidemic puts a considerable amount of pressure on the entire continuum of care.1 Not only is managing these diseases challenging for patients and their care-givers, they are extremely difficult for providers to manage from inside the four walls of their healthcare facility.

One of the biggest challenges for providers is having enough time with patients to effectively educate them on their disease and how to manage it at the point of diagnosis, either in an in-patient or an ambulatory setting.

  • Chronic health conditions are creating a major impact in healthcare:
  • Nearly one in two Americans (133 million) has a chronic condition and by 2020, about 157 million Americans will be afflicted by chronic illnesses.2
  • Managing chronic diseases is challenging for both patients and providers and half of costly readmissions are the result of a chronic disease.3
  • About four out of five healthcare dollars (78 percent) are linked to a chronic disease.4

A Low-Cost and High-Tech Solution:

Advances in mobile technology grant providers the ability to connect with patients on a daily basis and constantly monitor key metrics such as weight, exercise, medication adherence and vital signs. Utilizing mobile devices to manage chronic diseases is a low-cost way to offer a fresh approach to patient engagement, improve outcomes and reduce readmissions.

According to the American Association of Family Physicians, the best way to increase adherence of chronically ill patients is to put them in control of their own care. With 64 percent of American adults now own a smartphone of some kind, providers have an unprecedented opportunity to connect with patients.

Multiple sources indicate incorporating mobile devices into chronic disease management can have a real financial impact. One study shows the use of a mobile healthcare solution for monitoring diabetes can lead to a $3,300 per person annual reduction in employee healthcare costs, and research by Goldman Sachs estimates the widespread use of digital therapies can drive $300+ billion in healthcare system savings.

Effective mobile applications aggregate data from a variety of sources to paint a clear picture of what is truly happening with the patient. This would include the patient’s health information, shared by the provider. Also allow for the patient to enter their information on a daily basis.

YourCare Management App

The YourCare Management app from the YourCare Suite was created in conjunction with Hamilton Health System to assist providers in better managing their chronically ill population. Product features and functionality were built based on feedback from clinicians, physicians and patients with diabetes. The solution also ties to the patient’s wellness devices, personal health records, and self-entered data. Moreover, it allows patients and clinicians to connect on a daily basis.

1. http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/overview/

2. Chronic Care in America: A 21st Century Challenge, a study of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation & Partnership for Solutions: Johns

Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (September 2004 Update). “Chronic Conditions: Making the

Case for Ongoing Care”.

3.http://www.chqpr.org/downloads/PRHI_ReadmissionBrief_ChronicDisease_June2010.pdf

4. The Growing Burden of Chronic Disease in American, Public Health Reports, May June 2004 Volume 119 Gerard Anderson, PhD

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