People are told that they should visit their dentist, optometrist, and general practitioner annually. Doctors run a battery of tests at these appointments to ensure patients are in good health and there are no noticeable changes since the previous checkup. Unfortunately, there is no equivalent process for cognition or mental health, even though baselining and ongoing tracking can help many patient groups.
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There is a need for regular cognitive assessments—so why aren’t they happening?
- Lack of awareness when it comes to the value that regular cognitive assessments can bring to patient outcomes.
- Patients have subjective cognitive symptoms (e.g., brain fog) or worry about future cognitive issues as a result of aging or injury but have not asked about or are not even aware of objective cognitive measurements, so there is no push to provide periodic assessments.
- Both clinicians and patients are concerned about costs. Mental health professionals typically cannot obtain reimbursement for assessments of generally healthy people, and many patients cannot or will not pay for the charges associated with these services.
3 Reasons to Implement Cognitive Healthcare Solutions
Implementing cognitive healthcare solutions—and specifically cognitive assessments—into your practice provides numerous benefits:
- Enhance routine health practices to improve cognitive care. When cognitive assessments are part of regular appointments, patients can more easily be monitored for general brain and mental health changes. Providing long-term follow-up for past cognition issues, monitoring post-treatment status, and even detecting early warning signs of cognitive conditions become standard care.
- Improve mental health diagnosis and treatment by measuring changes in cognition objectively to provide the best possible diagnosis and treatments as soon as symptoms begin.
- Detect mild cognitive impairment (MCI) sooner by establishing a reliable baseline earlier than traditional screenings.
It’s Time for a Change
Technological advances in healthcare have given clinicians new ways to proactively assist patients. Innovations across telehealth and remote monitoring have made it easier than ever to address problems before they become detrimental. The healthcare industry has been trending toward remote technology for years, but the 2020 pandemic ushered in a new era of virtual care tools, and clinicians across every specialty are now heavily adopting remote solutions.
Consumers using virtual visits rose from 15% to 19% from 2019 to early 2020; this jumped to 28% in April 2020. On average, 80% said they would likely continue with virtual visits, even after COVID-19 restrictions have ended.
Leveraging telehealth and virtual solutions has changed the doctor-patient model by reducing wait times and adding convenience. These solutions help clinicians manage their workload and also allow for proactive and personalized care as patients show more agency and take control of their health. With the ability to track their own vitals and critical health information from anywhere—even on the go—patients are now empowered by data to make decisions about their health, and they expect more from their healthcare providers.
When consumers started spending more time at home during the pandemic, many started using wearable devices to monitor their health and seek medical treatment. These trends continue, with the use of wearables in the US increasing from 9% to 33% in just four years.
As more virtual monitoring tools become available, patients and clinicians can realize earlier and more accurate detection through regular cognitive evaluations. In addition, as the industry discovers more about cognitive decline and the risk factors for MCI and dementia, it becomes critical to proactively track and detect early warning signs to slow progression.
Proactive cognitive monitoring is beneficial for a range of patient use cases, such as those at risk for MCI, recovering from mental health treatments, or at risk for brain injuries.
Most specialists insist on an annual wellness checkup, so why should brain health be different? Clinicians can provide improved patient care through quick but powerful cognitive assessments that:
Cognitive Healthcare Solutions: Get Started with CBS Health
In the modern healthcare era, clinicians should be taking advantage of advanced technologies that enable them to provide proactive, individualized care to their patients beyond a standard physical. It’s time to give brain health the attention it deserves.
CBS Health makes it easy to incorporate cognitive care as a standard part of your healthcare practice. The platform streamlines care with comprehensive, easy-to-administer assessments that are automatically sent to patients without any intervention needed. Leveraging the insights of cognitive assessments, clinicians have a personalized baseline that can not only be compared to a normative database but also act as a comparative measure for longitudinal monitoring to detect change. CBS Health gives clinicians the ability to generate critical insights and provide improved cognitive care with modern digital tools that drive practice revenue.
Want to know more?
Download our eBook: Cognitive Function: A Core Component of Routine Healthcare