Patient Illness Management

Patient Illness Management

Estimated reading time: 4 min

Overview

Patients with chronic illnesses require a different type of care to those with acute conditions. They require customized treatment schedules and should generally return to the practice for regular check-ups & follow up treatment to help manage their condition.

The RxWorks Patient Illness Management system is pre-populated with a comprehensive list of illnesses. It allows you to indicate the current status of any illnesses that have been diagnosed for a patient. This can then be used in queries and reporting; for example if you want to send a letter or email to all patients currently being treated for a particular condition. A further aspect of the Patient Illness Management system is the ability to automatically control follow up reminders for patients with chronic conditions.

A problem that can occur in the management of chronic patients is that the same medications can be used to treat both chronic conditions and acute traumas. This can lead to problems setting up a reminder system to work in both situations.
RxWorks Patient Illness system lets you attach follow up reminders to these medications but only trigger the reminder for patients being treated for the long term illness.
You can fine tune which medications are used in the treatment of which long term conditions and which reminders should be associated with the condition.

For example;
Rimadyl (Carprofen), a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug is used as a day-to-day treatment in arthritis and also to relieve short-term pain post-operatively. The arthritis patient should return for regular follow up examinations to monitor progress, but the patient being treated post-operatively does not require a follow up reminder.
RxWorks Patient Illness system will let you attach a follow up reminder to your Rimadyl items, but only apply that reminder if the patient is being treated for Arthritis.

Updating Patient Illness Status

You can manage the status of any long term and acute illnesses that a patient is being treated for. This data can then be used for information when reviewing the patient’s medical condition and in reporting.

When the Patient Illness Restricted Reminder system is activated, it will also allow follow up reminders to be triggered for the patient.

Review The Patient Illness List

The illnesses that the patient is being treated for are displayed in the centre panel of the patient screen.

Illnesses are split into ‘Long Term Illnesses’ and ‘Acute Illnesses’ sections.

Each illness has a status from the following list:

  • Investigating
  • Currently Treating
  • Supportive Care
  • Resolved
  • Voluntary Euthanasia
  • An illness restricted reminder will only be applied to a patient if the associated illness is set to a status of ‘Currently Treating’. If the illness is set to any of the other statuses, or the patient does not have the illness configured at all, the reminder will not be applied to the patient.

    Editing Patient Illnesses

    To edit the status of any illnesses for the patient, click the Edit icon in the Illnesses panel.

    From the list of illnesses, select the current status.

    Querying Patients with Illnesses

    You can use patient illnesses as criteria when building queries for lists or mail merges. Each possible illness is available and you can select which status to restrict on. This could be used to send a letter to all patients currently being treated for a particular condition.

    Queries are created in Reports > Queries, Mail Merges and Listings.
    Patient illnesses are available as criteria under the ‘Patient’ radio button and are listed alphabetically; for example ‘Arthritis Disease (Long Term Illnesses)’.

    The above criteria will find any Dogs that have a Long Term Arthritis illness set to either ‘Currently Treating’ or ‘Investigating’.

    The query criteria searches for any patients with the illness status listed in the ‘Illnesses’ panel on their patient screen. For more information on this, see the ‘Updating Patient Illness Status’ article.

    Patient Illness Restricted Reminders

    You can restrict the reminder system so follow up reminders for particular chronic illnesses are only added to patients that are currently being treated for the illness. This is useful when a follow up reminder is attached to a medication that can be used to treat both chronic conditions as well as other situations.
    An example of this is Rimadyl (Carprofen), a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug which is used as a day-to-day treatment in arthritis and also to relieve short-term pain post-operatively.

    Activating The Illness Restrictive Reminder System

    By default, all reminders will apply to patients when an item is charged that is linked to the reminder. To activate the illness trigger system, you need to turn on a global setting in RxWorks.

    1. Go to Task Panel > Tools & Utilities > Application > Application Settings
    2. Tick ‘Reminders – Use Illnesses To Determine Whether Reminders Can Be Added’
    3. Click Save

    Restricting Reminders To Particular Illnesses

    Once the Illness system is activated, you need to link which reminders should only be triggered by certain chronic illnesses.
    This is done by listing the triggering illnesses to each reminder.

    1. Go to Options & Setup > G. Report & Reminder > Reminders
    2. Edit the reminder
    3. Click Configure Illnesses
    4. This option will display bold if the reminder has been configured to be restricted by certain illnesses.

    5. Any illnesses configured for the reminder are displayed under ‘Applied Illnesses’.
    6. To add an illness, select it from the drop down list and click Add.
    7. To delete an illness, click the red delete icon next to the name.
    8. This reminder will no longer be restricted to only patients being treated for that illness.

    9. Click Save.
    If the reminder has one or more illnesses linked to it, the reminder will only be applied to patients being treated for that condition.

    Adding Reminders To Items

    To add a reminder to a drug that can be used to treat both chronic and acute illnesses:

    1. Go to Products & Services and Find the Item.
    2. Click the Attachments tab.
    3. Click Add under ‘Reminders / Health Care Indicators / Recalls’.
    4. Find the reminder, enter the default follow up period.
    5. Click Save.

    What Happens In A Visit

    When an item is charged that has an illness restricted reminder linked to it, the status of the illness for the patient is checked.
    If the status is set to ‘Currently Treating’, the reminder will be added to the visit. If the patient has no status, or is set to any other status, the reminder will be ignored.

    This system controls whether particular reminders are added to a patient record. It must be configured accurately and the patient statuses kept up to date to ensure reminders are not missed.
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