Doctors should do everything possible to minimize patient stress — including providing a calm and safe environment for drug infusion treatments.
It’s no secret that stress is bad for your health. However, a recent study linking stress-related conditions to the development of autoimmune disorders has shed new light on the psychological and physiological impacts of stress, which should serve as a wake-up call to health and wellness professionals.
MDs should consider how their practices operate and what steps can be taken to relieve patient stress and improve health outcomes. But for healthcare providers specializing in the treatment of patients with autoimmune diseases, the results of the study may have especially critical implications. And understanding the disproportionate link between stress and their patients’ conditions should serve as a further impetus toward providing for low-stress treatment environments.
By improving the logistics of biologic drug infusion delivery, substantial reductions in patient stress are currently achievable.
Study Links Stress and Risk of Autoimmune Disease
In a landmark study released last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that the diagnosis of a stress-related disorder — including PTSD, acute stress reaction, and adjustment disorder — significantly increased the risk of developing a subsequent autoimmune disorder.
In fact, the patients with a preexisting stress disorder were 36% more likely to develop an autoimmune condition (including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, and celiac disease) — and 46% more likely to develop three or more autoimmune conditions — than the population without a stress disorder. The risk was even higher among younger patients as well as those who were not taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs for PTSD.
Infusion Centers Shouldn't Add to a Patient's Stress
Increasingly, stress-related autoimmune conditions are met with a treatment plan that includes the infusion of biologic drugs. Infusions work — they are often the most effective and efficient way to deliver medications necessary for the patient to achieve the best possible outcome.
Unfortunately, when infusions are completed in a [hospital outpatient center] the infusion process can itself become a substantial contributor to stress. Figuring out where to park, walking long distances and through multiple wards to get to your monthly infusion can add stress and anxiety to your treatment. The added stress of hospital infusion can create a dangerous cyclical effect with the potential to result in poor patient outcomes.
Breaking the Cycle with In-Office Infusion Center Management
The best way to break the cycle is to encourage treatments at an in-office infusion center. In-office centers are everything that hospital outpatient and home treatments aren’t: inexpensive, easy to use, comfortable, familiar, and — critically — low-stress.
In-office infusion professionals are not only responsible for administering treatments, but also for preparing medications as well as squaring away administrative tasks such as billing and insurance forms.
Since they are dedicated to the comfort and safety of patients, in-office infusion staff can greatly relieve the patient of unhealthy stress. OI Infusion teams can even lower doctors’ stress levels by ensuring patient compliance (and thus improved patient outcomes), and relieving them from a number of administrative burdens.
In-office infusion centers remove unnecessary stress from the treatment equation — all parties included. With OI Infusion’s turnkey in-office infusion center management platform, we provide healthcare providers with everything they need to start and maintain an infusion center in their office. Contact us today to find out how an in-office infusion center managed by OI Infusion can help you take the first steps towards relieving chronic stress for your patients — and your practice.