My Tool Box: ―a treasure chest of benefits for chronic disease self-management


Life for patients suffering from chronic disease, such as arthritis, cancer, diabetes and heart disease, can be a daily challenge. But thanks to the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) My Tool Box program, self-management of symptoms and treatments related to such diseases is resulting in less stress and better outcomes for these patients.

“We teach patients what they need to know in order to manage their symptoms, how to recognize an emergency, and how to use healthcare resources efficiently,” says Dr. Deborah Radcliffe-Branch, director of My Tool Box at the MUHC. “Patients also learn how to become expert self-managers of their medications, which helps reduce Emergency Department (ED) visits due to errors in self-drug administration or negative drug interactions.”

Recent data shows that the My Tool Box program has contributed to reduced ED visits and overnight hospitalizations by almost 50 per cent for the 750 patients who have completed the six-week program thus far. The annual savings to the healthcare system is estimated at $3,900 per person. “In addition to improving the health and quality of life of patients, this represents a major reduction in institutional costs,” says Dr. Radcliffe-Branch.

My Tool Box is a free program that has been available at the MUHC since 2007. To register or for more information, contact Jessica Vitulano, Program Coordinator, at 514-934-1934, ext: 71585, or send an email to: [email protected].