SilverSearch Offers Multidimensional Care Choices (Biomedical, Psychological, and Social/Cultural) of Post-Acute Care Services for Patients Experiencing Both a Chronic Disease and Mood Disorder
By Liesl Doxey Petersen, MSW
Two growing health concerns among Americans are the high incidence of both chronic disease and mental illness. Chronic diseases—including arthritis, asthma, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, hepatitis C, and stroke—cause 7 out of every 10 deaths each year (2010, CDC). Mental illness is experienced by 1 in 4 adults in a given year. Among those with mental illness are individuals who suffer from mood disorders, which have shown to affect up to 10% of Americans at any given time (2013, NAMI). Individuals at particular risk for having a mood disorder are those with chronic diseases.
Comorbidity rates for chronic diseases and depression are disturbingly high. The prevalence of Major Depressive Disorder in several chronic diseases is as follows: Alzheimer’s Disease—11%, Cardiovascular Disease—17%, Cerebrovascular Disease—23%, Diabetes—27%, Cancer—42%, and Parkinson’s Disease—51% (2012, CDC).
Because of increased risk of comorbidity of chronic disease and mood disorders, measures must be taken to ensure patients are receiving multidimensional care that addresses not only their biomedical needs, but also psychological and social/cultural needs. This multidimensional approach to care (biomedical, psychological, and social/cultural) is of particular importance to post-acute care providers who often provide care for patients with chronic diseases—a population at high risk of experiencing comorbidity with a mood disorder.
While many facilities may offer multidimensional care, each patient’s psychological and social/cultural needs are unique. Means of matching a patient to a post-acute care (PAC) provider that accommodates their individual needs has previously been, for the most part, unachievable. Case managers have neither time to discuss various options of post-acute care providers with patients nor the ability to manually maintain information of all special services offered by providers that may meet a patient's psychological and social/cultural needs. In most cases, the patient is left with a list of facilities and is instructed to “pick one.” Further, there is most often not time or means for a patient or for family members to do research themselves to find a provider that offers services that match psychological and social/cultural needs.
SilverSearch offers a solution to this common problem. SilverSearch is a digital directory that contains information on post-acute care providers and the services they provide. Patients, supported by case managers and family members, can search for providers that match their unique, multidimensional needs. In searching for a facility that matches a patient’s biomedical needs, SilverSearch has filters to allow selection of type of care provider (e.g., skilled nursing facility (SNF), home health agency (HHA), long term acute care (LTAC)), preferred insurance provider, and special services (e.g., trach care, wound care, ventilator care, and physical and occupational therapy).
Psychological needs can be considered by using SilverSearch to find facilities that have clinical social workers, psychologists, and support or treatment groups. Most unique of all, a patient’s social/cultural needs can be matched to providers that offer various special services such as multi-lingual nurses, church services, music, special classes, spiritual counseling, pets, specific visiting hours, common areas, or private vs. shared rooms.
With a growing number of Americans suffering from comorbidity of chronic diseases and mood disorders, SilverSearch is a solution to help facilitate multidimensional, holistic care for patients by providing them with a way to find post-acute care providers that meet their needs and ultimately put the patient in the best environment for recovery.