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The GetMed approach to Chronic Care

The term chronic disease management describes a system of care designed to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs associated with long-term, ongoing illnesses. Chronic diseases generate the greatest burden of ill health in our modern society. GetMed and its affiliated doctors, dedicated to the relief of suffering, are facing the greatest challenge in medicine today - helping our patients deal with debilitating and often fatal chronic conditions.

The GetMed Chronic Care Programme focus on disease management that encompasses the oversight and education activities conducted by medical professionals to help patients with chronic diseases learn to understand their condition and live successfully with it. The work involves motivating patients to persist in necessary therapies and interventions and helping them to achieve an ongoing, reasonable quality of life.

GetMed views successful chronic disease management as a program where the ultimate test of success is the optimum management of the individual diagnosed with a chronic disease, where optimum implies non-fragmented, disease specific and risk-based interventions.

GetMed approaches the Chronic Care management programme from a two tier approach:

1. a PATIENT-BASED intervention approach which incorporates Personal Disease Management;

2. A PROVIDER-BASED support initiative which incorporates peer review and management of medical disease management protocols.

Currently the GetMed Chronic Care Programme is restricted to a list of chronic conditions generally known as the “prescribed minimum benefits”. This list covers 24 conditions as well as AIDS/HIV management.

If you are a member of any of the GetMed managed care plans you can purchase extended cover for chronic conditions by subscribing to one of two options offered under the GetWell Chronic Care Protection Plan. The basic plan offers members cover for the basic list of chronic diseases generally known as “prescribed minimum benefits”. The extended plan offers members cover for an extended list of chronic conditions. To get information on these options you can go here. [link to GetWell page].

The GetMed Chronic Care Programme offers the following services to registered chronic care patients:

1. The Personal Health Advisor is a call-in facility with a very comprehensive database of symptom presentation which allows safe and appropriate advice to be given regarding chronic disease management.

2. Chronic disease management programmes for listed chronic conditions. The processes in all the programmes follow the following principles of sound medical practise:

a. Basic demographic profiling for each enrolee

b. Comprehensive disease specific history taking

c. Risk factor profiling with an emphasis on identifying areas where profiling is incomplete and then through education and provider co-operation rectifying the deficits

d. Disease classification – International guidelines are applied and regularly updated

e. Treatment review – with reference to evidence based medicine guidelines and regular updates for new treatment modalities whilst remaining sensitive to the principal doctor-patient relationship

f. Medication review (as for e.)

g. Compliance review with strong emphasis on behavioural modification techniques applied as interventions in the education modules where compliance is sub optimal

h. Education modules – whenever on questioning the patient shows poor understanding of concepts, when a risk factor is unknown, when treatment is misunderstood or when compliance is poor, immediately the appropriate education module is linked.

i. Follow-up protocols are flexible and disease severity specific.

How to manage your chronic disease

Do you have a chronic health condition? A chronic illness is defined as any disease that develops slowly and persists for a long time. The term chronic describes the course of the disease, or its rate of onset and development. A chronic course is distinguished from a recurrent course; recurrent diseases relapse repeatedly, with periods of remission in between.

As an adjective, chronic can refer to a persistent and lasting medical condition. Chronicity is usually applied to a condition

Chronic diseases generally cannot be prevented by vaccines or cured by medication, nor do they just disappear. Behaviours that are damaging health – particularly tobacco use, lack of physical activity, and poor eating habits – are major contributors to the leading chronic diseases. Some examples are diabetes, arthritis, emphysema, congestive heart failure, and Alzheimer’s disease. It can be distinguished from an acute illness, which typically starts suddenly and is short lived, for example, a cold, or the flu.

While chronic illnesses are more common among older adults they can affect people of any age including children. Taking an active role in managing your illness can help you maintain a good quality of life despite your illness. Equally important, it can help you feel better about yourself. Here are some things to consider:

Practice secondary prevention – Secondary prevention, often involves the same strategies that are useful in primary prevention – increasing physical activity, eating more healthfully and smoking cessation if you have been smoking. These actions can slow the progress of a disease after it has occurred. Secondary prevention also strengthens your entire body so you are fit and better able to fight off other illnesses. Managing two chronic diseases at the same time is much harder than managing one.

Learn to pace yourself – Some chronic illnesses result in low energy and lack of stamina. Learn to work at a slow to moderate pace and rest when you need to. Find easier ways to do things. Use the time when your energy level is highest to complete difficult tasks. A flexible attitude also is important. Is it really necessary to clean every day, or to even make your bed everyday? You might have to reach a compromise that takes into consideration your standards for neatness and your energy level.

Stay involved with family and friends – When you don’t feel well or your energy level is low, it may be more comfortable just to stay at home. Rather than admit to a friend that they are going to need special food or a private place to take medication they are more likely to turn down an invitation. However, people who cut themselves off from others are more likely to become depressed and are less able to manage an illness. If you are a friend of an individual with a chronic illness remember that it takes two to maintain a relationship. You might need to make the first move. Invite your friend to social gatherings and invite them again if they refuse. This relationship is important to both of you. Don’t give up easily; communicate regularly.

Identify and use existing resources – Many organisations have good information that can help you manage your illness. For example, the South African Heart Association and the South African Cancer Society provide lots of good advice about how to manage illnesses and how to compensate for the limitations that may be caused by them. Some organisations also provide financial assistance or other kinds of resource assistance that can improve quality of life.

Become a wise health care consumer – Understand your illness what are the symptoms, what kinds of limitations will it cause and what can you do to lessen its impact on your life. Find a health care provider that is good at treating your particular problem and then stick with him or her. Find out about new replica watches uk and alternative or complementary treatments that might work. Make sure to discuss these with your health care provider. Finally, work with your provider to find a treatment plan that you can successfully carry out. Make sure to keep your provider informed about any problems you are having with the treatment and any changes in symptoms.

How to register your chronic condition on the GetMed Chronic Care Programme

If you have access to the Internet you can download the relevant documents from this page. You need to download the following for each chronic disease:

 

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The member instructions

The provider instructions

The chronic disease programme application form

The relevant treatment guideline

The relevant assessment questionnaire