For many of us, the holidays are a time to heap on another helping, loosen our belts, and enjoy the company of friends or family. But for those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, these oversized portions and long evenings indoors can make sticking to a treatment routine especially difficult.
For this reason, the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) has designated Diabetes Awareness Month (November) as a time to reflect on the challenges faced by diabetic and pre-diabetic patients.
In this post, we’ll explore how we as a healthcare IT (HIT) partner can better empower providers to improve patient outcomes and prevent this chronic illness from disrupting an otherwise joyous time of year.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic illness resulting from insulin resistance brought on by multiple factors, including obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. According to the CDC, it affects approximately 37 million Americans, or roughly 11% of the population, and is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
For those who have been diagnosed with this disease, treatment can be extremely tedious and expensive. Not only does diabetes double medical expenses and inpatient visits, it can also result in life-threatening complications such as blindness, kidney disease, heart disease, and even amputations.
The challenge for those in both inpatient and ambulatory care settings is finding the time and resources to educate patients about their condition, help manage their care routine, and encourage the healthy lifestyle changes necessary to reverse the progression of diabetes.
There are, however, a range of technologies that providers can use to better engage diabetic patients in their day-to-day health management.
Originally, most of these innovations were restricted to advancements in the administration of insulin, a critical component of maintaining blood glucose levels and preventing diabetic health complications. Recently, however, Wi-Fi-capable devices and condition monitoring software have helped create a continuum of care management that supports the integration of devices, lifestyles, and provider oversight.
Mobile applications, in particular, have emerged as an important hub for diabetes self-management information and resources. Using apps, healthcare providers can empower patients to take charge of their care routine while also providing them with continuous monitoring and support. Tapping into these low-cost technologies allows providers to connect with patients frequently and track metrics such as weight, exercise, medication adherence, blood glucose levels, and more.
A diagnosis of diabetes or pre-diabetes can throw a person’s life into total disarray. The sudden avalanche of information can make it easy for patients to disregard treatment routines or misunderstand what’s required for them to stay healthy.
At MEDHOST, we work with our partner hospitals to tackle these challenges through our YourCare Management Solution, an ever-evolving mobile application that functions as a part of our broader patient engagement platform.
Developed with the expertise of physicians and supplemented by input from diabetic patients, this cloud-based application allows health coaches to communicate in real-time and reinforce behaviors outside of the facility walls in ways that ease clinical workflows and meaningfully improve patient outcomes.
Bolstered by digitized AADE curriculum, providers can use this solution to scale their diabetes prevention and treatment programs across growing patient populations with up-to-date practices, information, and structured intervention.
Without the oversight of dedicated coaches and clinical professionals providing customized care plans, patients may struggle to stick with a treatment program.
Through the YourCare Management application, physicians and coaches can monitor the progress patients are making via alerts and updates, which automatically generate when readings are outside of safe ranges, as well as adjust plans and send secure messages to patients when they need intervention.
With over two dozen tasks that can be assigned to patients, clinicians have the ability to customize care routines around how people live their lives. Users can log into the application easily from their smartphone and view daily to-do lists that prompt them to log exercise, meals, sleep habits, blood glucose, medications and more.
YourCare Everywhere is an overarching patient engagement and education application providing information on a wide range of topics, including diabetes management.
This application includes hundreds of unique articles, written and vetted by our staff of subject matter experts, which can serve as a trusted source for newly diagnosed patients to learn more about their condition, exercise programs, and healthy eating routines.
With a dedicated landing page for diabetes management, patients will never lack anywhere-access resources to take charge of their treatment routine.
As its own standalone application, MEDHOST Support Groups provides patients with a secure, private digital forum for exchanging information, sharing struggles, and motivating one another to achieve healthy outcomes.
Available 24/7, this application gives patients access to a supportive environment moderated by a qualified healthcare professional.
Support groups also give those who may live in more remote areas, or who have limited mobility, the opportunity to share what they’ve been going through, what their mood might be, or any helpful insights they’ve learned.
Leveraging mobile applications helps patients better manage chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, and avoid costly readmission from preventable escalations.
YouCare Management is a powerful tool that promotes the level of compliance that patients must achieve as a part of an effective diabetes self-management routine.
To learn more about how the YourCare Management platform allows for engagement that extends care beyond the exam room, call us at 1.800.383.6278 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.