Heart Disease: How Disease Management Helps
Regular physical activity and a heart-healthy diet are essential components of managing heart disease. On some days, though, it may be difficult to keep up with your exercise routine or meal plan. It’s not always easy coping with heart disease on your own—but the good news is you don’t have to.
When you participate in a disease management program for people with heart disease, you get lots of help and support. That can help motivate you to stick with your treatment plan and help keep you out of the hospital. Talk with your healthcare provider about enrolling in a disease management program.
What’s a disease management program?
A disease management program is set up to help people with certain chronic conditions better manage their condition, improve their health, and decrease complications. Disease management programs can help people with various conditions, such as heart disease, asthma, diabetes, and other conditions.
Disease management programs may be offered by employers, health insurance companies, hospitals, and other healthcare organizations. Ask your healthcare provider for information on a disease management program in your area.
When you join a disease management program, a nurse or other health professional will check in with you by phone. He or she will talk with you about any symptoms you’re having. And, he or she helps you monitor your condition. That way, if you have a problem, you can see your healthcare provider early before it gets worse. Addressing a problem early is an important way to prevent having to go back into the hospital.
Participating in a disease management program gives you the chance to ask questions about exercise, medicine, diet, and other treatment options. And, you get personalized, practical information for coping with heart disease.
Improve your condition
The goal of a heart disease management program is to improve your health and quality of life. Participating in a program can help you lower your risk for serious problems, such as a heart attack or heart failure episode that could put you in the hospital. Best of all, with the extra support from the program, you can feel confident that you’re taking good care of yourself.
The disease management program doesn’t replace what your healthcare provider does. Instead, the program's staff offers additional support to help make sure your health needs are met. You get all these valuable benefits at no additional cost, and you can access some of them without having to leave home. This type of convenient support can help you continue to manage your health and control your condition.
- Fetterman, Anne, RN, BSN
- Gandelman, Glenn, MD, MPH