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Helping chronically ill with basic self-care still a challenge

Many clinicians are struggling to engage patients who have chronic diseases in their own care, and basic challenges such as staying on top of appointments and understanding care plans remain a concern.

These were some of the key messages from the Chronic Care Challenge: How technology can enrich patient care whitepaper, released by MedicalDirector.

In a survey of 320 clinicians for the whitepaper, more than 55 per cent of respondents said engaging patients to manage their condition or conditions is the biggest barrier to treating chronic disease.

MedicalDirector chief medical officer Dr Andrew Magennis said: “While clinicians are able to provide patients with more information on their condition than ever before, basic challenges remain a concern.”

He said the results demonstrate the growing burden on primary care to manage complex, ongoing conditions, but added it’s clear clinicians are eager for solutions and ready to take their own proactive steps to better support patients. About 60 per cent of clinicians surveyed indicated they are willing to look into new technology to help manage chronic disease, while a quarter are willing to implement it immediately.

Almost 90 per cent of clinicians said secure electronic messaging would be beneficial, while 42 per cent said online records provide the best opportunity to improve outcomes for chronic disease. Just over a quarter said health-related phone or tablet apps could be beneficial.

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