“Why should you have to be dying to have somebody focus on your quality of life?” These words from Sean Morrison, M.D., director of the National Palliative Care Research Center, are at the heart of Get Real Health’s approach to Palliative Care through our Ellie app.
In an article for AARP, Morrison expands on the importance of communication amongst the varied practitioners treating a palliative patient citing the “fragmentation of our healthcare system” as a major hurdle.
“What Dr. Morrison says here is exactly what I encountered when I worked with cancer patients,” said Jennifer Bowers Senior Clinical Strategist for Get Real Health. “Their quality of life is diminished not only by disease, but also by the endless appointments, duplicate paperwork and the wait for return calls and information from the various individuals on their care team.”
In fact, the very definition of “palliative care” is being broadened to include anyone seeking an improved quality of life when dealing with a chronic illness. This thinking is a shift from the previous notion that palliative care was an end of life solution or simply a precursor to hospice.
This new approach means that approximately 6 million people in the United States have a need for palliative care, according to the Center for Advancement of Palliative Care. But most patients don’t know about their options.
And one of the best options for clinicians and patients alike is Ellie. With a focus on detailed, customized care plans and remote patient monitoring, Ellie solves the obstacles outlined in this article.
“When you give patients the option for self-care and control, it is very liberating in a time when they feel the least in control of their lives,” says Bowers. “Remote care does not necessarily lead to compromised care. In fact, the opposite is true. By “seeing” a patient in between visits, practitioners can be proactive instead of reactive.”
Families of palliative patients also benefit from the Ellie app. The option for patients to assign access to friends and family opens the lines of communication and support for patients from all those that are assisting in their care.