Disease-Specific COVID-19 Patient Education
Christian Pran, EVP Partnerships
Navigating the COVID-19 pandemic is much trickier for people living with a chronic condition such as COPD, psoriasis, leukemia, or multiple sclerosis. Symptoms and treatment regimens do not “shelter in place.” At the same time, in-person doctor visits and some treatments may lead to greater risk from COVID-19. This has driven 8x engagement with disease-specific, patient education content regarding the coronavirus across MyHealthTeams’ 38 patient social networks.
Key themes top-of-mind with members include: Is it safe to keep taking my immune-suppressing medications during this pandemic? How should I prepare for a telehealth appointment? Can I adapt therapy and rehab exercises to do at home?
In response, MyHealthTeams has taken a three-pronged approach to patient education during COVID-19: 1) identify gaps in care by interviewing chronic condition patients and surfacing their most critical unmet needs; 2) create and curate content that clearly answers pressing questions by tapping into the expertise of top medical specialists; and 3) provide actionable tips to better manage health at home to members of its social networks faced with an absence of in-person support groups during the pandemic.
Examples of resulting educational resources include: “Endometriosis and Telehealth: During COVID and Beyond,” “MS Treatments & COVID-19: What to Discuss With Your Neurologist,” and “Rheumatoid Arthritis & COVID-19: Are You At Greater Risk?”
A video series teaching pulmonary rehab breathing techniques for members of MyCOPDTeam has proved especially impactful. Ninety-two percent of those who’ve seen the videos tried the techniques, and many made it a daily habit. In a follow-up survey 90 days later, 71% of those who continued using the techniques reported improvement in shortness of breath—one of the top symptoms of the disease.