Focus on Chronic Disease

Recently, Touchette Regional Hospital (TRH) developed the Complete Care Program to focus on the care and education of chronic diseases that impact the TRH service area. For information call 618.332.5370.

The Complete Care Program began at TRH in October of 2009 as an outpatient chronic care program. Diabetes care/education is the initial focus of the chronic care program because of the high incidence of diabetes in the TRH service area. The focus of the program is to help patients successfully manage diabetes and further prevent devastating complications of this chronic disease. The chronic care model establishes linkages between the physician practice and the patient. The program provides for a coordinated, multidisciplinary visit that can improve patient compliance and reduce avoidable complications.

Diabetes Education is coordinated through a Patient Navigator at TRH. The Patient Navigator works with the patient, family/support system as needed, and the physicianís office to coordinate education and referral services. In addition, the Patient Navigator provides the PCP with feedback related to the patientís progress.

Since the traditional health care system is designed to provide a symptom-driven response to acute illnesses, it is poorly configured to meet the needs of those with chronic diseases. The complete care model focuses on both outcomes and prevention of chronic illnesses ranging from diabetes, congestive heart failure, kidney disease, and hypertension.

According to Centers of Disease Controlís 2007 data, nearly 24 million people in the U.S. have diabetes. Diabetes disproportionately affects older adults and can cause serious health complications, including heart disease, stroke, blindness, and leg and foot amputations. People with diabetes are more susceptible to other illnesses, and once acquired, they often have poor outcomes and prognosis.

Diabetes education is key to controlling diabetes. It is a collaborative process through which people with or at risk for diabetes gain the knowledge and skills needed to modify behavior and successfully self-manage the disease and its related conditions. The program aims to achieve optimal health status, better quality of life, and reduce the need for costly healthcare.

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