It is has been a prevailing idea that maintaining a health journal can lead to improved outcomes. But is that really the case and how is it possible? The basic premise is that what gets measured gets improved. This means that the simple act of recording your symptoms when you have taken your medication and other measurements could help you find insights that you may not have been aware of which can aid in alleviating or reducing pain and other discomforts. Below we share a few ways one can manage preventative and proactive care.
Track, Measure, Learn
As many as 69% of US adults track health symptoms1 and as the population of the US grows older, this number is expected to rise much higher. The fact remains that we are not living in a value-based health system.
What this means is that sometimes incentives may be misaligned. This means more time and costs for the patient where health care is anything but cheap. Value-based care emphasizes patient recovery thus reducing readmissions. By simply engaging in recording how you feel, or what you have done for your health, you will be better able to measure how your treatment or condition is progressing over time. This means you and your caregiver will have the exact data needed to make adjustments to your treatment if needed.
As an example, the CareClinic app for iOS, Android and mobile (free for basic use, https://careclinic.io/) provides ample ways to save your health information in a structured way so the information may actually be used to generate insights. If we look at the screenshot on the right we can see charts, logs, and correlations all of which can be useful in better understanding yourself. Most apps provide you with a way to automatically integrate health data as well and this provides a way for you to not having to enter activity details manually each time. If you do not require charts a simple health journal entry may suffice here as well.
It is said that 50% of the medication prescribed to patients is not taken2. The reason for this includes the obvious ones such as forgetting, running out and because patients think it is no longer needed or helping them. All of these reasons are simple enough to understand and should be simple enough to address.
By having an app track your doses on hand, you will know exactly when to order your next refill so you do not run out. Additionally, by setting up dose reminders you can be sure to track all medication taken or skipped. By taking just these two simple steps you can address the last problem as well, which is not taking your medication because of potential side effects or because you thought it wasn’t working. In the CareClinic app as an example, you will be able to see correlations between the medication you have taken against your symptoms or other measurements that you may have been tracking. This can easily validate any claims of a certain medication potentially causing symptoms to not go away or side effects to trigger.
The benefits are obvious and should not be understated. Completing your treatment and sticking to your adherence plan can chances of readmissions by 1/3rd.
Keep everyone in the loop
Sometimes it helps when you have a circle of support to help you manage your health, whatever the reason may be. Consider letting your family or doctor in on how your treatment is progressing. Apps such as CareClinic have the ability to keep your CareTeam in the loop automatically
Caregivers can easily your care plan and also see if you have been adherent to it. They may also get notifications regarding doses you may have missed for one reason or another. They will then have the ability to nudge you through the app or call you to follow up.
Self-care can be easy and helpful to everyone
Professional care gets reduced the less complicated and critical the illness is. This translates to most health care effectively-being self-care. What this means for people is that you have to take proactive and preventative measures to maintain good health by yourself as much as possible.
One way to do this is through self-care apps such as CareClinic. It is also not just for those with chronic conditions, patients are using apps to manage pain, symptoms of IBS, their mood, happiness and even to manage depression successfully. I urge you to explore various apps that can act as your sidekick to maintain a happy and healthy 2020 and beyond.
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