Problem Oriented Diagnosis!

Chronic diseases are among the most prevalent and costly of all health problems in the United States.

• Over 90 million Americans suffer from one or more chronic diseases, and chronic
   diseases account for 7 of every 10 deaths.
• The prevalence of chronic disease has significant implications for health care costs,
   accounting for three quarters of total national health care expenditures.
• Nearly all growth in Medicare expenditures can be traced to the one half of
   beneficiaries suffering from multiple chronic diseases.
• Chronic disease management requires daily oversight and treatment adjustment. This
   management is difficult within the current ambulatory care system, which is
   designed to provide acute and episodic care across disparate health facilities.

For example, in addition to a family doctor, patients with diabetes often require care from a variety of specialists, including but not limited to nephrologists, podiatrists, and ophthalmologists. These specialists may order a number of tests, prescribe several medications, or refer the patient to additional specialists.

Without timely communication of information, including tests results and medications prescribed, and improved coordination between entities in the fragmented "community of providers," the continuity of care for a chronically ill patient will remain less than optimal.