02/10/2013

ESTEVE AND THE GALICIAN HEALTHCARE SERVICE WILL TRAIN EXPERT CHRONIC PATIENTS IN GALICIA

As a result of an agreement to jointly promote research and scientific training in order to optimize chronic patient care.

The objective is to create a comprehensive framework for action to improve the patient's health education and adherence to treatment, as well as the healthcare provider's scientific training.

ESTEVE thus reinforces its commitment to chronicity, where it has built up a wealth of experience in the cardiovascular, renal, respiratory, osteoarticular and nervous system áreas.

ESTEVE and the Galician Healthcare Service (SERGAS) signed a collaboration agreement to promote research and scientific training in order to improve chronic patient care for the benefit of both the patient and the Galician healthcare system. The first activity fostered as part of this alliance is training expert chronic patients in the Galician Community. The agreement has been signed by Xunta de Galicia's Health Minister and Chairwoman of the Galician Healthcare System Rocío Mosquera and by ESTEVE's Director Antonio Esteve.

Chronic diseases are already the leading cause of healthcare expenditure in our country. In 2020, 78% of Spaniards will have a chronic disease, which poses a major challenge to the sustainability of the healthcare system. In order to manage the increasing demand for medical care related to chronicity, patient participation and co-responsibility in self-care -deemed indispensable by the World Health Organization (WHO)- is being encouraged by the institutions.

In line with the above, ESTEVE and SERGAS have reached an agreement to form a strategic alliance likely to improve chronicity care by promoting research and training, innovation, study performance, and exchange of scientific and technical knowledge for the benefit of both chronic patients and the Galician healthcare system.

The first project -i.e. to train expert chronic patients in the Galician Community- is already ongoing. Basically, the purpose is to potentiate their role as primary persons responsible for their health by providing them with skills, motivation and confidence to manage the symptoms of their disease, achieve a better adherence to treatment, acquire healthy life habits, and enjoy a better quality of life. In turn, this will result in less visits to primary care centers and less and shorter hospital stays.



Expert patients, responsible patients

While patients have been playing a more active role in recent years, this has not been associated with a significant increase in their competence in health care or their ability to obtain and understand basic information on health and healthcare systems likely to lead to good decisions and, ultimately, improve self-care.

ESTEVE and SERGAS will create groups of chronic patients from Galicia interested in training other patients in a trainer training workshop called "Taking control of your health" addressed to people with cardiovascular diseases (angina, myocardial infarction, etc.), stroke, hypertension, diabetes, respiratory diseases (asthma, bronchitis or COPD), cancer, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or renal failure, among others.

The Escola Galega de Saúde para Cidadáns will be entrusted with this training, in collaboration with ESTEVE through the Patients' University of the Josep Laporte Foundation of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, devoted specifically to patients, relatives, caregivers, volunteers and citizens interested in health topics.

This activity, to be imparted by experts trained and recognized by the Stanford University Patient Education Research Center, involves a training methodology that has provided health benefits and even savings for the healthcare system.

Two editions with 15 patients each will be organized before the end of the year. The course will include four 7-hour sessions, and patients will learn about the differences between acute and chronic diseases, the importance of diet and physical exercise, the need for setting attainable health objectives, their co-responsibility in medication, or how a medical visit should be prepared. Students will be awarded a Diploma from the Josep Laporte Foundation at the end of the course.

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