Helping Your Patient Navigate a Chronic Disease Diagnosis

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Your patient has been experiencing symptom after symptom, and you’ve been through months of running tests and comparing data. The day has finally come when you’ve concluded beyond a reasonable doubt that your patient has a chronic disease. As their doctor, it’s your duty to break this news to them. They may have figured it out themselves by now, or they may be frustrated, confused, and hoping for any answer other than what you’re about to tell them. Either way, there are important steps you need to take when you deliver a chronic diagnosis. Here are a few:

Educate Your Patient

There’s more to diagnosing your patient with a chronic disease than simply telling them what they have. When they get home, or even before, the first thing they’ll do is go to WebMD for answers. Find whatever resources you have at the office to send home with them, and tell them everything you know about the diagnosis they are now facing. Discuss the condition, potential causes and treatment options. Offer as much guidance as you can as you deliver this difficult news. 

Provide Support Between Visits

Part of educating your patient is letting them know how important communication will become. If they experience any new symptoms or complications, you need to know. An open and honest dialogue can go a long way in comforting your patient and helping them when they need it. As a healthcare professional, you need to be attentive to your patient, ask open questions and provide as clear and thorough of an answer as you can. 

Encourage Self-Management

Patients may lose hope when they become aware that they have a chronic condition. Where possible, tell your patient about ways that they can actively manage their illness. Go over things that they can do themselves to make life more manageable. This may include self-infusion, having prescriptions delivered to their homes and making lifestyle changes. Remind them that they’re not alone in this diagnosis, and that they’ll have help from medical providers.

Address Upcoming Changes

A chronic disease diagnosis often means significant changes are coming. Your patient may not be aware of what lies ahead, so be sure to address this head on. Talk about any social and lifestyle changes they will need to make with the diagnosis, including dietary changes that can help their symptoms. Look into your patient’s current habits, and see if there’s anything that they need to change, such as alcohol and caffeine consumption. Address the fact that they may experience mental health changes, as well, and recommend resources like support groups or individual therapy. 

Help Find Outside Support

There’s only so much you can do with your limited expertise and time with your patient. Help your patient find resources that will help them manage the healthcare side of the equation. Specialty infusion pharmacies like AvevoRx help patients navigate the healthcare landscape, from prescription counseling to in-home infusion therapy. We ensure that patients have one point of contact for many areas of the healthcare process, simplifying processes that can otherwise be complex and hectic. The fewer channels your patient has to go through, the easier it will be for them to navigate this new diagnosis. 

If your patient has a chronic disease or a complex condition that will be difficult to manage, AvevoRx can help. Patients with complex conditions, as well as their providers and payers, can count on AvevoRx to be a resource and provide personalized care throughout the process. Contact us today to learn more. 

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