Disease management

 Many of our friends and neighbors in eastern North Carolina deal with serious, chronic illness each day of their lives. For some, it’s diabetes. For others, it’s asthma or another form of respiratory disease.

While conditions like these are serious and must be treated, they must also be managed. By following a carefully prescribed plan of care, many patients can keep a chronic disease from limiting their activities and their quality of life.

The Disease Management program at Vidant Health is designed to help our patients manage chronic diseases and, in that way, maintain their independence and their ability to function at home, in their jobs, at school or at play. If you think this program could help you, talk to your physician or call us at 252-847-4881.

What is Disease Management all about?
Simply stated, it’s the right care at the right place at the right time. Disease Management is a comprehensive system of care that works with a population of patients who have or who are at risk for a particular disease or condition such as diabetes or asthma.

Doctors and other medical researchers have studied these populations for many years. The research has helped them understand and predict how a disease will affect a patient over time and how patients respond to certain treatments. Armed with that knowledge, we at Vidant Health have identified the most effective ways to manage certain chronic diseases that are common in eastern North Carolina, and we have developed disease management programs. By following these programs, health providers can offer consistent and proven strategies for delivering and coordinating care that helps patients help themselves.

Disease Management Program
The Disease Management Program uses prevention, acute treatment and long-term management to help patients enjoy better health. Through these strategies, we link patients with primary care physicians and community health services.

And, we help the patient: 

  • maintain or improve quality of life
  • maintain or improve ability to function at home, at work and in the community
  • reduce days lost from work and school
  • decrease the complications of chronic disease
  • extend life

The programs take several factors into consideration:

  • Available information about how patients respond to various methods of treatment (this information is evaluated on the basis of patient populations as well as the responses of individuals)
  • The cost of various disease management strategies
  • The ease with which patients can use the strategies.

Individual Patient Strategies
We provide case management follow-up services for individual patients. When we receive a referral, a clinical nurse specialist or case manager will:

  • set up the plan of care established by the physician
  • coordinate community resources to help the patient follow the plan
  • provide education and self management strategies
  • ensure follow up with the health care team
  • make sure the patient stays in touch with the physician
  • collect and report information about how the patient is doing

Population-Based Strategies
In addition to working with individual patients, we are committed to improving the overall system of care by:

  • supporting health fairs and community education
  • holding screenings for various health problems
  • collaborating with non-profit agencies, clinics and physicians offices
  • building a seamless clinical information system
  • providing continuing medical education on specialty topics
  • identifying and addressing access to care issues
  • linking people to programs at our Vidant Wellness Center

For patient referrals or more information, contact the Care Management Department, Vidant Medical Center, at 252-847-4881.