Reduce waiting lists by monitoring chronically ill patients

Keep chronic patients of a dozen diseases under control, such as diabetes, heart or respiratory disease, could reduce medical waiting lists and avoid collapse in emergency care. That is the proposal of Rafael Bengoa, a specialist in public health management, who has been an advisor to the Obama Administration and Health Advisor to the Basque Government.

For Bengoa, in addition to the primary prevention that is done with tobacco, vaccines, etc., other preventive measures must be implemented, focused on chronically ill patients that help the system function better. “40% of Spaniards have a chronic illness- explains – and many of these have two or three chronic diseases. What we need is to technologically control them at home and know what is happening to them. When you see on a screen, in primary or hospital care, that these people are decompensating, it is perfectly possible, as is being done in many countries and is beginning to be done in Spain, to send someone home to care for the sick person instead. for him to appear in the emergency room.

New technologies would allow these types of measures to be implemented now. “The technology exists. Now we need, in this post-pandemic moment, to recover the tone in terms of human and obviously technological resources that we need. This is perfectly possible now with ten or twelve diseases. The problems we have is that the lists of waits are spreading because we are not taking measures of this type and it causes people to continue decompensating at home and obviously appear in the emergency room, and occupy a hospital bed, which are the two most expensive parts of the system.

More resources are needed

The administration’s effort, in Bengoa’s opinion, would have to increase in the provision of resources. “All of this is going to make the system much more agile than it is, and that agility is going to come hand in hand with two things: having people on the radar technologically to see what is happening to them and the second “That there are sufficient human resources, an investment in human resources, to be able to care for these people at home or in the hospital when it is necessary to admit them.”

Beyond monitoring methods and prior care, Rafael Bengoa also proposes develop measures that strengthen social services for the care of the sick.

“Healthcare cannot be fixed without fixing, at the same time, social services. Because when a person has already been admitted, sometimes they remain in the hospital without need, why? because we have nowhere to send them to be well cared for or because It may be too early to put him in a residence. So what is going to be very important is to invest, not only in health, but in social services, to actively connect those two worlds and in that connection ensure that the people admitted can have “good care wherever they go. And this is also cheaper, because it is obviously much more expensive to have a person in a hospital bed than, obviously, at home or in a residence.”

Source: Antena3

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