Chronic diseases are diseases that have been present for six months or longer and slowly progress over time. The World Health Organization classifies chronic diseases into four major types:
- Cardiovascular diseases (stroke, heart disease)
- Chronic respiratory diseases (asthma and chronic obstructed pulmonary disease)
Chronic diseases are responsible for more than 60 percent of all deaths in the world annually, which makes them by far the leading cause of death globally. More than half of Americans are currently living with at least one chronic condition. These diseases significantly decrease quality of life, causing disability and death, and as such are a weighty public health problem around the world.
According to the World Health Organization, the burden of chronic diseases on the global economy is significant, as chronic diseases cause great losses in national incomes.
What Does the Chronic Disease Management Involve?
The health systems around the world are challenged by an increased incidence of chronic disease. The Chronic Disease Management (formerly Enhanced Primary Care) requires that chronic patients take a more active role in their day-to-day decisions when it comes to the management of their illness in order to cut the increasing costs of chronic disease burden and reduce the effects of chronic diseases on the patient population.
Chronic Disease Management (DCM) is an integrated health care approach to managing chronic conditions which typically includes screening, check-ups, monitoring, and patient education. It proposes innovative strategies to reduce spending in health care at the same time improving the wellness of the patients.
Chronic Disease Management involves interventions aimed to prevent or manage chronic conditions using a systematic, multidisciplinary approach. The main goal of disease management is to identify individuals at risk for one or more chronic diseases, to promote self-management, and to address the chronic condition with the best clinical outcome.
The Chronic Disease Management requires a partnership between the patients and health professionals that empowers the patients to take a more active approach in managing their health. According to the Chronic Disease Management approach, patients who are more informed and involved tend to interact more effectively with their healthcare providers and are more motivated to take actions that will promote more positive outcomes.
The DCM approach allows health providers to plan and coordinate the health care of patients with chronic conditions, including those with illnesses that require multidisciplinary health care. Chronic Disease Management is designated to patients who require a structured approach and ongoing care.
In short, chronic disease management can improve your quality of life reducing your health care costs by preventing or minimizing the effects of your chronic condition.