Chronic Disease Management
Chronic Disease Management is a way to address long-term illness or impairment that can also help maintain independence and quality of health. The doctors‘ consultation room is a perfect starting point since they are the providers of primary care.
How Does My Doctor Assist With Chronic Disease Management
Your doctor can help determine if a plan is suitable for you and then manage the health care required for ongoing assistance with chronic conditions. This management requires a structured plan that can involve the assistance of other health or care providers.
Preparation of a plan involves an assessment by the doctor and practice nurse from which agreed management goals can be made, along with identifying what actions are to be taken, as well as treatment and any ongoing services.
The role of preparing, reviewing, coordinating and contributing to plans is the role of your GP but may be assisted by practice nurses. Doctors can also provide education to help prevent or help tackle the effects of some of these conditions.
Types Of Chronic Disease
Chronic disease is classified as one that has been, or will most likely be, present for six months or more. They are becoming more common and are a high priority due to the impact they have on peoples’ quality of life.
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, nearly a quarter of Australians are estimated to have two or more conditions from within these eight groups:
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Back Pain
- Mental Health Conditions
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis
Although these are the most common conditions, the list of chronic conditions is extensive. They can occur at any stage of life, although are more prevalent in older age.
Some chronic diseases can be of an immediate threat to health such as heart disease. Some may require intense management over a long period like diabetes. Others may be present over a long time but not life-threatening, for example, arthritis.
Further to your Doctor assisting in the care of these conditions, a team of multidisciplinary practitioners may be involved. Under a Chronic Disease Management program, there may be eligibility for some allied health services.
What other allied health services may be involved?
Your doctor may place you on a GP Management Plan and Team Care Arrangement if you have complex needs requiring ongoing multidisciplinary care. Depending on your needs, your team could include any of the following allied health professionals or health/care providers:
- Aboriginal health works and practitioners
- Asthma Educators
- Diabetes Educators
- Exercise Physiologists
- Mental Health Workers
- Occupational Therapists
- Social Workers
- Speech Pathologists
Utilising these services will assist the goals set by you and your doctor in achieving optimum health and wellbeing while minimising the impact of your chronic condition.
Even if you do not qualify for a Chronic Disease Management plan your doctor will be able to assist you in setting health-related goals and making lifestyle adjustments and so reduce the risk factors associated with these chronic diseases.