Empowering Patients to Better Manage their Chronic Conditions
Healthcare’s Biggest Challenge
Chronic diseases – including diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, mental illness, and musculoskeletal, and gastrointestinal disorders – have become a global epidemic. Chronic disease is a major contributor to reduced quality of life, loss of productivity, increased hospitalization and health care costs, and premature death.
Approximately half of all North Americans have at least one chronic disease, and more than three-quarters of healthcare spending in North America is on chronic disease management. Aging populations and rising rates of chronic disease are only increasing these pressures.
Daily behaviors are by far the single most important contributor to health outcomes and costs for people with chronic illnesses. While wearable devices and health apps are becoming ubiquitous, there are few proven patient engagement technologies ready for large scale deployment.
Patient Engagement: A Patient’s Knowledge, Skills and Confidence to Manage their Own Health and Wellness
At NexJ Health, we believe that the most efficient and cost-effective way to offset the rise in chronic disease is to empower patients, with the support of their families, friends, and healthcare professionals, to actively participate in managing their own chronic condition(s).
NexJ Health defines patient engagement as empowering patients with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to manage one’s own health and wellness. There is compelling evidence correlating these attributes with improvements in population health and patient experience and lowered costs.
Patients with more knowledge, skills, and confidence have better clinical indicators and are:
- Less likely to be hospitalized or make emergency room visits
- More likely to actively participate in decisions about their care and adhere to treatment regimens
- More likely to apply health information to their lifestyle choices and engage in healthy behaviors
- Less likely to frequent healthcare providers for assistance with managing their chronic conditions
Improving the engagement of high-need patient populations could be difficult because they are typically elderly, have multiple chronic conditions, and/or are socioeconomically disadvantaged. NexJ believes this challenge can be overcome by enlisting the support of the patient’s personal circle of care – their family, friends, advocates, and other healthcare providers. This is critical, as evidence indicates that investing resources to improve engagement in these high-need populations delivers greater relative benefits than improving engagement in populations that are younger, have fewer chronic conditions, or have more economic advantages.
Patient engagement delivers high value for all healthcare stakeholders: Patients achieve their health goals. Payers lower costs. Providers improve care. Pharmaceutical manufacturers improve fill rates of prescriptions and adherence to medication treatment plans by delivering value beyond the pill. Retail pharmacies improve medication adherence and build customer loyalty beyond the point of sale.