As life expectancy increases, demand for home healthcare is growing constantly. Supporting adherence to treatment for patients at home helps to reduce the cost of care while encouraging patient independence and improving quality of life.
1.6 M patients with chronic diseases cared for in their home by Air Liquide(2)
In practice, unsuitable care support or failure to adhere to treatment can lead to additional financial costs due to complications or emergency hospitalizations, as well as indirect costs (side effects, nutritional issues, absence from work, instability or isolation). “This trend is changing the behavior of healthcare payers – both public and private – which are shifting towards performance-based payments by adapting the payments made by a healthcare provider based on the patient’s adherence to treatment,” says Grégory Olocco, Vice President of Markets, Strategy and Innovation at Air Liquide Healthcare business line.
THE HUMAN FACTOR, AN IRREPLACEABLE PRESENCE
The patient’s relationship with a qualified expert is essential for the treatment of complex chronic diseases. Air Liquide mobilizes multidisciplinary teams of nurses, technicians, doctors, and pharmacists, which work in cooperation with patients and the prescribing doctors.
On the personal and family side, the price can be high for both patients and their care givers. Pedro, a patient supported by Air Liquide, has suffered from severe sleep apnea for a year: “My sleep apnea prevented my wife from sleeping. And the idea of wearing a mask worried me. But when I saw the benefits, I was persuaded to wear it every night,” he explains. The initial steps of accepting a specific treatment and equipment are often critical. Patients and their families must be able to quickly see the benefits for their health and quality of life or they run the risk of abandoning the treatment.
"Better monitored treatment means better patient health, a relieved doctor, and lower indirect costs for the paying party."
A new approach is required, one that is focused on the patient and coordinated with all players. This approach combines efficient treatment with overall knowledge of the patient pathway of care to optimize the treatment of chronic diseases from both a therapeutic and organizational point of view. Air Liquide’s approach involves listening to the patient’s needs and offering made-to-measure care that takes physiological data, lifestyle, and family circumstances into consideration. “We are working on patient adherence to treatment. The aim is to give each patient the means to better engage in their own care. Better monitored treatment means better patient health, a relieved doctor, and lower indirect costs for the paying party” says Grégory Olocco.
Madeleine, who has been diabetic for many years, su ers from several complications. “All these appointments with the cardiologist, the endocrinologist, and the ophthalmologist, both in the community and at the hospital, wear me out. I have to re-explain my case each time and remember all the drugs that I’ve been prescribed and their dosage. It requires a lot of energy,” she regrets. The home visits by a nurse and an Air Liquide technician have allowed Madeleine to better control her insulin pump treatment. When she has questions, she can now contact them at any time via a helpline. Lastly, a connected monitor allows her blood glucose to be checked in real time and helps avoid unnecessary medical appointments. As her doctor is notified only in the event of a problem, he can concentrate on high value-added medical procedures and regular discussions with the patient.
CHRONIC CARE CONNECTTM FOR CONTINUOUS CARE AND RAPID ACTION
Chronic Care ConnectTM is a connected healthcare solution for patients suffering from chronic diseases and at risk of hospitalization. On the decision of the doctor, patients use one or more connected devices (scales, blood glucose monitor, etc.). The data collected is transmitted and analyzed remotely by nurses at the Air Liquide monitoring center, who are in regular contact with patients and their doctors
Air Liquide holds two trump cards in the drive to transform home healthcare: its very close human proximity with its patients, at home, for more than thirty years, and its innovative strength, in particular in terms of digital solutions. “Our offer allows us to personalize our patient care and switch from a reactive medical approach to a proactive one. All this is possible thanks to two complementary forces: human and digital interactions,” explains Grégory Olocco. This unique combination, reinforced by operational excellence that is recognized by healthcare professionals, represents the value-added of Air Liquide’s solutions. Combined with the human factor, connected healthcare helps to ease pressure on the current health system: upstream, by allowing for the personalization of care and the detection of any complications, and downstream, by streamlining interactions between the various healthcare players. A necessary alliance to help patients return home and stay in their home under the very best conditions in terms of both comfort and medical surveillance.
DID YOU KNOW?
According to the WorldHealth Organization, 50% of chronically ill patients do not adhere to their treatment properly.(3) To help improve patient adherence, beyond simply complying with the prescription, Air Liquide factors in several criteria including a patient’s lifestyle, expectations, motivation, and understanding of a treatment’s mechanism of action. Promoting adherence means helping patients self-manage their illness.
(1) In the world’s industrialized countries, more than 60% of over-70s have at least one chronic disease. Source: Stenholm S, Westerlund H, Head J et al. Comorbidity and Functional Trajectories from Midlife to Old Age: The Health and Retirement Study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2014; 12: 1-7.
(2) Air Liquide 2018 Reference Document, page 3.
(3) Sabate E. Adherence to long-term therapies: Evidence for action. Geneva: World Health Organisation; 2003.
Article published on December 06, 2019