The Urgency for Healthcare Research and Quality Initiatives
With the growth of the number of Americans living with multiple chronic conditions, it is critical to seek ways of improving their care while at the same time cutting the cost of treatment and management of these conditions. The cost of treating these patients has been increasing over the years (Vogeli et al., 2007). In this case, self-management is the model of care proposed to cut costs and ensure the quality of care for patients with multiple chronic conditions (Kuebler, 2015). Under the self-management model, patients are equipped with the necessary knowledge and resources to meet their healthcare needs outside the hospital. Reduction in disease complications and exacerbations has been achieved where effective self-management practices are adopted.
One way of ensuring successful self-management practices has been adopting special technology. Health information technology (HIT) has been increasingly used in healthcare settings in the country with great potential for improving care and managing chronic conditions (Jean-Jacques, Persell, Thompson, Hasnain-Wynia, & Baker, 2012). However, the impact of the technology on disparity is a question that emerges in research. It is a reality that some segments of the population might not have access to the technology, so there is potential to be left out of the self-management practice. Hence, to improve the quality of care for individuals with multiple chronic conditions, policymakers must ensure pervasive access to technology and adequate training and education on using technological devices. Evidently, it will be less costly to provide technical capacity than to use health care resources to manage multiple chronic conditions.
Jean-Jacques, M., Persell, S. D., Thompson, J. A., Hasnain-Wynia, R., & Baker, D. W. (2012). Changes in disparities following the implementation of a health information technology-supported quality improvement initiative. Journal of general internal medicine, 27(1), 71-77.
Kim Kuebler, D. N. P. (2015). Federal initiatives in self-management for patients with multiple chronic conditions: Implications for the doctor of nursing practice. Journal of Doctoral Nursing Practice, 8(1), 139.
Vogeli, C., Shields, A.E., Lee, T.A., Gibson, T.B., Marder, W.D., Weiss, K.B., and Blumenthal, D. (2007). Multiple chronic conditions: Prevalence, health consequences, and implications for quality, care management, and costs, J Gen Intern Med 22 (Suppl 3):391–5.