In the United States, six in ten Americans live with a chronic disease. Four in ten Americans live with two or more chronic conditions. Individuals living with chronic illness tend to have longer-term high medical costs and are at greater risk for complications and poor outcomes. Chronic diseases include a wide-range of ailments including asthma, diabetes, heart disease, depression, chronic kidney disease, cancer, substance use disorder, and obesity, among others.
Chronic diseases are serious mental or physical health conditions that require ongoing medical care for twelve months or longer. They are the leading causes of death in the United States and are a major factor in the increase in overall healthcare costs.
Patients with chronic illness must monitor their own condition and receive ongoing medical care from their clinicians and care team. A diagnosis can present significant challenges to a patient. They must seek ongoing care, learn about their condition, comply with a treatment plan, and often undertake significant lifestyle changes to manage their disease.
Chronic disease management empowers patients to better understand and seek treatment for their conditions, symptoms, and potential risks. Patients who are proactive in managing their chronic conditions are more likely to have fewer complications. Providers and care teams must consider a patient’s complete medical history, current health indicators, lifestyle factors, and other information to provide a comprehensive care plan to engage patients in their care. Healthcare organizations with a focus on patient-centered care offer counseling, coaching, and resources so patients can implement effective self-management strategies.
Supporting patients as they learn to live with chronic disease can take many forms. A key element of patient support is ongoing patient education. From learning the basics about their condition, how to manage persistent symptoms and implement lifestyle changes, to identifying what to watch for in identifying potential complications — when patients understand these areas, they are more likely to avoid risks and poor outcomes.
In addition to support from providers and staff, patients benefit when providers incorporate technology like healthcare customer relationship management (CRM) into their care. Healthcare CRMs support many aspects of a healthcare organization’s operations, including customer management, data organization, scheduling, patient engagement, and reporting. Regarding chronic disease care, healthcare CRMs enable providers to deliver truly personalized patient care, ongoing communication, better access to resources, and more effective ways to track and report key healthcare indicators.
The Role of Healthcare CRMs
Organizations that incorporate healthcare CRMs as part of their strategy to support patients with chronic disease allow patients to manage their chronic conditions more effectively, resulting in better health outcomes and lower overall healthcare costs.
Healthcare CRMs enable providers and care teams to build deeper relationships with patients. The CRM itself brings together patient health records from various sources and synchronizes data and information, providing a comprehensive view of a patient’s health data. Providers and care teams can access a ‘one-stop shop’ and better understand patient needs, identify behavior patterns, review prior diagnoses and procedures, and deliver patient-centered care plans.
Healthcare CRMs also support meaningful patient engagement before and after office visits and allow providers to help patients to manage their health better. Care teams can customize and tailor communication to a patient’s health condition and include reminders about medications, appointments, and available educational resources. Healthcare CRMs can also allow the patient to track and record information from home, as well as access their health data through a patient portal. In addition, healthcare CRMs can also incorporate patient communities and messaging where patients living with chronic diseases can interact with other patients with similar experiences.
Personalized Health Education
While healthcare CRMs often streamline administrative and operational tasks for providers, they can be used to provide patients with personalized health education, segmented for specific patient populations. Targeted educational content provides patients with information and resources about their chronic disease and strategies to manage symptoms.
Providers who use healthcare CRMs should be mindful that straightforward, accessible information developed with patients in mind is most helpful. Providers should factor in patient health literacy levels and language preference into personalized health education materials.
Materials shared can include documents, videos, and interactive tools and can be customized by patient preference. Offering a number of approaches can ensure that patients can engage with educational content in a manner that meets their needs.
Tailored Communication and Reminders for Patient Relationship Management
One of the most significant benefits healthcare CRMs offer to providers and care teams is the automation of patient communication and reminders. Online scheduling, appointment reminders, and requests for documents and information ahead of appointments can all be automated through healthcare CRMs.
Personalized messaging allows each interaction to feel specifically tailored to the patient. Messages and reminders can be delivered using a patient’s preference – through email, automated phone calls, or text messages. Providers can also communicate regularly to link patients back to resources supporting chronic disease management and patient education. Offering patient-specific information and using patient preferences increases engagement, reduces appointment cancellations, and provides a positive patient experience.
Real-Time Health Data and Progress Tracking
Providers and care teams are able to coordinate care and see a comprehensive, up-to-date view of their patients using healthcare CRMs. Patients also benefit. Patients can effectively manage their care plans, prescriptions, and treatments using patient portals. Access to educational materials allows patients to explore resources independently from the comfort of their homes.
Chronic disease management focuses on monitoring and managing the symptoms of a chronic disease. As part of the approach, providers typically develop care plans that encourage specific actions, track key health indicators, and set long-term goals. Healthcare CRMs allow patients to reference their plans and goals, record information tied to ongoing symptom and disease management, and track data and outcomes within their health records. Platforms that provide visually appealing interfaces and demonstrate progress toward patient goals are more likely to encourage patient engagement.
Collaboration and Support through Care Coordination
Beyond sharing patient educational materials, healthcare CRMs also offer another tool to support patients on their health journey: care coordination. Utilizing care coordination enables healthcare providers to collaborate and coordinate care plans across multiple disciplines and settings. This ensures effective communication and seamless transition for patients.
A care coordination platform like Welkin’s can greatly benefit patients and care teams. Its ability to seamlessly facilitate care between teams, create escalation paths to specific team members when events that need monitoring occur, comprehensive alerts, and more, make care coordination an invaluable tool when caring for patients with chronic health conditions.
Help Your Patients Better Manage Chronic Conditions With a Healthcare CRM
Patients with chronic disease have better outcomes when they are engaged in their healthcare, supported by their providers and care teams, and understand how to manage their condition. Healthcare CRMs offer many ways to empower patients through education and engagement in ways that meet individual patient needs.
Leveraging healthcare CRM technology helps providers and care teams deliver truly patient-centered care and better health outcomes. Meet patients right where they are with Welkin Health’s Healthcare CRM: book a demo today.