A comorbidity is a health condition that coexists with other health conditions. While comorbidities can interact with one another and increase a patient’s risk for harmful outcomes, it’s possible for them to exist separately without causing an increase in issues. For instance, a patient can have multiple non-overlapping comorbidities at once, including mental health issues such as depression or anxiety combined with physical conditions like arthritis.
Comorbidity vs. Complication
Comorbidities are often confused with complications. While comorbidities exist separately, a complication is a side effect or problem developed during illness or while in treatment.
For example, poor circulation is a side effect of diabetes, making it a complication. If a diabetic patient was also suffering from depression, the two health conditions are comorbidities.
That said, one comorbidity can lead to the development of other comorbidities. For example, obesity is a contributing factor to heart disease, which can then lead to heart attack or stroke.
Who is at Risk for Comorbidities?
Elderly patients are more likely to have multiple comorbidities due to the number of health conditions that are common later in life. However, anyone can develop comorbidities.
Persons with limited access to quality healthcare are at a higher risk for developing comorbidities. Similarly, the presence of comorbidities is higher in lower socioeconomic backgrounds because that demographic may not seek care in a timely manner, have access to quality food, or live in places that are more dangerous to their health.
Lifestyle habits can also increase the risk of developing comorbidities. For example, smokers are more likely to develop lung cancer and heart disease.
Those suffering from multiple comorbidities are more likely to have a lower quality of life, worse mental health, and are prone to dying younger.
How TempDev Can Help With Charting Comorbidities
TempDev's team of NextGen consultants, developers, and trainers support your needs, whether you're looking to implement, switch, or even upgrade your current EHR system. From dashboards and revenue cycle consulting to automation and workflow redesign, TempDev offers the tools you need to make the most of your NextGen EHR system, with top tips and tricks that will ensure your success now and in the future.
With TempDev's NextGen dashboards, templates, and reports, you can better support your patients' needs. Our team is here to help you design, organize, and implement the whole system and is on hand to offer tips and guidance based on industry best practices.
Contact us here or by calling us at 888.TEMP.DEV to get the help you need to help with charting and managing comorbidities with your patients.
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