Preventing Chronic Diseases

It is reported that 8.1 million Americans with diabetes are not diagnosed according to CDC www.cdc.gov. Also, high cholesterol and other risk factors for heart disease often go undetected in people who fail to undergo regular primary care check-ups.

The nonprofit integrated healthcare provider Fairview Health Services www.fairview.org based in Minneapolis and Minneapolis-based healthcare innovator Zipnosis www.ziposis.com have launched a virtual protocol to help prevent chronic conditions.

Their approach to virtual care enables remote diagnosis of chronic conditions, connects the patient online with physicians, and coordinates interventions when clinically appropriate. With the new solution, patients are able to use their iOS or android smartphones, computers, or other web-enabled devices to complete a short online adaptive interview anywhere at any time 24/7.

The interview guides patients through a series of questions while adjusting their answers based on established evidence based medicine guidelines. If lab tests are needed, patients are provided with a ZipTicket® boarding pass, which enables instant referrals to laboratory testing at nearby lab locations.

Once the lab results are available usually 24 to 48 hours following testing, a board certified provider employed by Fairview reviews the findings in combination with the interview results and makes a recommendation. Patients will then receive a summary of the findings via email along with customized educational material.

If patients are diagnosed with a chronic condition through a virtual visit and related information on diagnostic testing, they will need to follow up with their primary care provider or a specialist for ongoing care and medication management. Urgent cases will be routed directly to the appropriate care setting based on clinical findings.

“In the future, when the program is more widely offered, if patients don’t have a primary care physician, then we can work together to establish a medical home,” explained Dang Tran MD, Vice President of Medical Practice for Fairview Medical Group.

Fairview employees are now able to receive this new approach to chronic care screening and diagnosis. Companies can test the new offering while also providing employees with a convenient way to determine whether they have or are at risk for diabetes or cardiac conditions without needing to schedule an office visit for a screening.  Fairview plans to eventually roll out the program to patients and residents across the state.

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