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Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home promotes self-management of chronic disease

Patient self-management of chronic disease is essential to improving health outcomes and quality of life. It also helps reduce unnecessary healthcare utilization and the growing financial strain of chronic conditions on the healthcare system. In 2018, Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home began the Evidence-based Self-management Education initiative, which aims to improve self-management skills for people in the community with chronic diseases, including asthma, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, prediabetes and obesity.

The New York state Prevention Agenda calls for the expansion of access to evidence-based, self-management interventions. The objective of the EBSME program is to increase the percentage of adults with chronic conditions who have taken a course or class to learn how to manage their conditions and the number of evidence-based interventions offered.

Nathan Littauer created a way to get electronic referrals from its providers directly, increasing the number of program referrals. The organization also tracks the number of people who participate and complete the EBSME program. Their next goal is to launch the National Diabetes Prevention Program while continuing to increase the number of people who participate in the EBSME initiative. To help drive participation in the program, the hospital used its prime location on the bus line and chose a time of day when a complimentary meal could be offered in the areas with poverty and food insecurity.

Nathan Littauer has met the chronic disease self-management workshop requirements for three years in a row and has been recognized as a rural health champion, being invited to sit on panels as experts in the delivery and sustainability of these programs. Since beginning this initiative, each year Nathan Littauer has increased the number of certified peer leaders who can deliver workshops, the number of workshop site locations and the number of participants.

The prevalence of repeat attendees highlights the value of the classes to the community. Since the hospital was able to cultivate a positive relationship with participants, attendees became the best source for recruitment and referrals to future workshops.

For more information, contact Tammy Merendo, RN, BSN, director, community education, at (518) 736-1120 or tmerendo@nlh.org.