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Table 4 Summary of recommendations to improve the patient journey for NCDs

From: A Narrative Review of the Patient Journey Through the Lens of Non-communicable Diseases in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Touchpoint during patient journey for NCDs Recommendations
Awareness Utilize integrated communication messages combining disease information with health-promoting habits, where possible
Utilize mobile phones, web-based technologies, and electronic and social media to provide cost-effective education solutions for large populations
Involve the local community with a strong consultative process to align with language, cultural, and religious differences
Apply integrated services (e.g., physiotherapy and counselling) across all NCDs
Screening Develop risk stratification tools for primary and secondary prevention of CVDs
Screen for mental health issues during routine checkups in primary care settings
Perform age-appropriate screening to inform best-fit treatment options
Diagnosis Promote shared decision-making to improve decision-related outcomes
Utilize decision aids to inform patients on the potential benefits, risks, and costs of available treatments
Engage families and caregivers in decision-making
Treatment Ensure supply of good-quality affordable generic medicines
Include essential NCD medicines in healthcare benefits packages
Maintain uninterrupted supply chain of medicines
Follow patient-centered care approach to treating NCDs
Utilize personalized treatment goals
Adherence Encourage pharmacist-led interventions for education and counselling for medication-related issues
Expand role of nurses in patient follow-up particularly for adult patients
Train community health workers to drive health literacy
Develop “expert patient” programs
Utilize e-health technologies to improve medication adherence
Palliative care Integrate palliative care in national health policies
Ensure access to essential pain medicines
Train health professionals in imparting palliative care
Digital health Merge biomarkers with social media footprint to predict risk more accurately and prompt customized interventions
Develop affordable wearable technology
Develop applications for home monitoring of treatment outcomes
Support patient self-management linked with healthcare teams via “digital umbilical cord”
Innovate on patient facing tools for elderly patients to improve quality of life, facilitate communication with providers, and aid decision support
  1. CVD cardiovascular diseases, NCD noncommunicable diseases