Chronic illness challenges extend far beyond enduring symptoms. In addition to coping with day-to-day life-altering medical compromises, chronic illness patients must also learn to navigate the complex healthcare space. As a chronic illness patient myself, I have experienced these challenges first-hand.
Recently, I have come across CarePassport, a patient-centric app that supports patients inside and outside hospital doors. I wish that I had known about this app at the height of my Rheumatoid Arthritis a decade back.
As an ode to my ten-year anniversary of being diagnosed; here are 5 challenges you face when you have a chronic illness and, more importantly, how CarePassport can overcome them.
1. You never just see one doctor.
My diagnosis was a collaborative effort between primary care physicians, imaging technicians, phlebotomists, and rheumatologists. And that was just the beginning. When you have a chronic condition, chances are that your illness sets off other issues in your body. My arthritis meant a higher risk of eye and respiratory issues— and that meant more doctor visits.
CarePassport allows patients such as myself to send medical information to a variety of providers, across multiple facilities and departments. Patients can finally feel like their providers work on one cohesive team.
2. You don’t always report accurate information to your doctors.
When they send the nurse in with a clipboard at your visit, you know it’s time for reporting. You have to report any deviant medical experience over the last several months, even if it’s as small as a two-day cough. Nurses will pick your brain for niche details, like which wrist hurt after your fever ended, and if the pain was sharp or stiff, and how many days it hurt for, and if you felt it in the morning or at night. And, given that you can barely remember what you ate for dinner last night, you aren’t always the most accurate reporter.
CarePassport lets you record health information right in the app and collects data from different wearables. Since doctors rely heavily on your reporting to devise treatment plans, it’s nice to know that you’re not just winging it from memory.
3. You have no idea what the doctor means most of the time.
I remember confidently walking into my first rheumatology appointment with a notebook for note-taking, and defeatedly walking out with blank pages. When medical jargon goes over your head, all you can do is zone out.
Thankfully, patient-centric apps like CarePassport provide access to educational materials, so patients can fully understand their health issues on their own time. Doctors are usually too busy to be teachers too, but that shouldn’t mean that patients get left in the dark. CarePassport enables patients to retain information about their care and understand tricky medical information. It ensures that they’re not just giving the doctor the old ‘smile and nod.’
4. You also do not know what ever happens to your medical studies.
After waiting for hours in the blood lab, listening to shrill baby cries, you think that you’re going to get some informative test results. Your results might be informative, but it’s not likely that you’re not going to get them. You’ve got weeks of more waiting to do before they’re sent to some facility that you don’t know— and you’re not sure who (if anyone) will contact you about them. CarePassport makes sure that you don’t feel like the loser cat in a game of cat-and-mouse when you’re trying to see your results.
You can access, store, and share labs results, x-ray images, and clinical reports right from your phone. CarePassport lets you take charge of your medical data — because, after all, you should be in control of results concerning your own health.
5. You’ve got to manage your care– at all times, everywhere.
My arthritis care demanded more time and energy than school did. Once I left the doctor’s office, I had to make sure I was getting enough sleep, eating the right foods, scheduling more appointments, and keeping track of my progress, to name just a few assignments. The developers behind CarePassport understand that chronic illness patients must be constantly conscious of their health. CarePassport ensures that even after you exit hospital doors, you can connect with your care providers, access medical records, track your progress, and much more. Your health issues follow you wherever you go, so medical management tools should too.
So there you have it; those are just a few of the ways that CarePassport solves challenges for chronic illness patients. Hopefully, in this new era of patient engagement solutions, patients such as myself will feel more at ease throughout their daunting medical journeys. That fact alone is the perfect anniversary gift for my ten years since diagnosis.
Written by: Chloe Weiss