Patients who suffer from chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are immunocompromised and are more likely to catch viruses. Due to their underlying conditions, they have a greater risk of hospitalization. Patients with chronic conditions must stay connected with their care team members and physicians to ensure preventive care and improve their quality of life.

EHR Software and the management of chronic illnesses

The effective use of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Software can enhance care coordination and streamline clinical workflows. Evidence suggests that EHR data, tools, and clinical decision support systems can be used to improve chronic disease management.

Using the EMR software alerts feature can boost screening rates, and enhance chronic disease treatment and management for patients. Clinical Decision Support (CDS) tools built into the electronic health records software can help to increase screening rates and chronic care management. Increasing the number of screening rates can enhance health outcome levels for patients with chronic conditions.

Moreover by keeping up-to-date medication lists, notifying clinicians of possible drug interactions or contraindications, and making prescription refills for chronic medications easier, EHR software systems help with medication management.

How can practices engage and support patients with chronic conditions?

In the year 2021, athenahealth EMR Software started research to know the best ways a practice can support and engage with high-risk patients. The research conducted was based on the analysis of de-identified data from athenahealth’s user network as well as discussions with clinicians and healthcare administrators. The following recommendations are centered around the research.

Leverage Telemedicine solutions to boost patient engagement

Hospitals can embrace the Telemedicine EMR Software platform to engage and support patients. Virtual visits are convenient and effective in improving patient-provider relationships and adherence to care plans. Telehealth sessions can be used for prompt and more frequent check-ins with patients suffering from chronic conditions. High-risk patients can also easily get checked from the comfort of their homes, reducing their exposure to viruses which can impact their health. The virtual care platform has been especially beneficial during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Use Personal Communication

Many high-risk patients usually fall into the older age bracket and they appreciate the personal touch of outreach and support. Personal communication is the most effective strategy to give care reminders to high-risk patients. For example, a 70-year-old patient doesn’t want a robot calling them to remind them of their upcoming diabetes check.

Use the services of care managers

To effectively support high-risk patients care managers can be used, typically nurses to keep a check on them. Care managers can help to simplify the patient’s life by helping them coordinate care with other team members such as clinicians, pharmacists, and social workers. Care managers develop a one-on-one relationship with the patient and help provide them with the support needed throughout their care journey.

Patient support and engagement can help with chronic disease management

Successful chronic disease management requires healthcare providers to deploy strong patient engagement strategies. When patients feel engaged there is a better chance that they will follow treatment plans, track their health, and ask their clinicians questions about their health. The right support and engagement can help high-risk patients live healthier and happier lives.

Patient Portal Usage in Chronic Disease Management

To boost patient engagement healthcare providers can make use of patient portal software to send personalized educational material and resources to their patients. Furthermore, the robust platform can act as a communication tool between clinicians and patients.  According to research, the use of patient portals can improve chronic disease management by 10 percent.