EARLY INTERVENTION: ACTING QUICKLY CAN IMPROVE PROGNOSIS AND REDUCE COSTS
Source: EU Whitepaper
Healthcare systems generate large amounts of data. Properly used, this data offers considerable potential to improve patient care and inform early intervention and prevention policies and strategies.
The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) is an example of best practices in proactive and systematic data collection and analysis. The study aims to inform policy development and was launched in 2006 by Trinity College Dublin. It explores the health, lifestyles and financial situation of over 8,500 individuals as they age and seeks to observe changes in their circumstances over a 10-year period. TILDA provides a comprehensive and accurate picture of the characteristics, needs and contributions of older persons in Ireland and will be a valuable resource for policymakers and healthcare professionals alike.
Chronic disease registries are also important for informing public policy and treatment strategies. Two initiatives are underway in Denmark and Sweden. The Danish DANBIO registry provides nationwide data on the disease course of patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases. More than 22,000 patients have been included in the registry since 2000.The goal of DANBIO is to collect information on patients with rheumatoid arthritis as well as all the patients treated with biological medicines. The data is being used to ensure efficient treatment of the individual patient, and DANBIO serves as an electronic patient ‘chronicle’ in routine care. In Sweden, the same efforts are being reproduced through web-enabled Swedish Rheumatology Quality (SRQ) applications.
Monitoring an individual patient’s treatment over time, including early interventions, may inform better treatment strategies and lead to improved quality of care and better treatment outcome and efficiency.
Spotlight on Prevention: When, Who and How?
Unhealthy lifestyles and lack of physical activity are key factors in the development of chronic diseases. Early prevention and diagnosis, better education, and above all collaboration among governments, patient organizations, and industry are crucial to prevent chronic diseases from arising.