Internal Medicine in the approach of the chronic patient

More than 89% of people over the age of 65 have some chronic health problem. By 2035, it is estimated that 1 in 4 people in Spain will be this age. Hence the importance that they have and, above all, will have, specialized health professionals when responding to the needs of this type of patient. “The ability to integrate the training, experience and vision of young internists will be one of the cornerstones of the specialty of Internal Medicine,” says Boehringer Ingelheim.

In this context, the ninth edition of the Complex Chronic Patients Meeting organized by the Spanish Society of Internal Medicine (SEMI), which has focused on evaluating the current clinical panorama of chronicity, as well as providing tools to internists for the comprehensive management of chronic patients. And it is that the conditions of pluripathology and advanced age that many of them present, requires an effort of skills and collaboration between professionals to face the challenge of a comprehensive approach.

In the words of the coordinator of the SEMI multi-pathological and elderly patient working group, the Dr. Pilar Cubo Romano“it is the health system, and not the patient, that must adapt to offer the best care and avoid harm to the patient himself”.

Thus, “the collaboration with other servicesthrough interdisciplinary teams and, above all, the close and ongoing relationship with Primary Care, is the key to keeping complex chronic patients in their place of residence for as long as possible, bringing health care closer to the patient’s home”, points out the expert.

“The complex chronic patient is becoming more frequent due to the growing aging population and exposure to unhealthy lifestyle habits”

“It is important that internists integrate into their daily practice performing a global multidimensional assessment and a care plan agreed upon with the patient and his family. That they have flexibility in care and know and participate in the implementation of alternatives to conventional hospitalization. And, also, that they acquire digital skills that ensure the patient integrated responses and well-ordered processes, improving accessibility, inter-area communication, as well as the possibility of relating with patients through non-face-to-face systems”, says Dr. Cubo.


As Boehringer Ingelheim defends, the Internal Medicine consultation is considered the reference for chronic patients and therefore the training and expansion of clinical skills for present and future generations of health professionals is “essential”. With this present philosophy and as a sign of its commitment to chronicityBoehringer Ingelheim supports this annual meeting in order to continue pursuing the ultimate goal of improving care for complex chronic patients.

Boehringer Ingelheim’s Head of Medical Affairs, Arantxa Garciacomments that “the complex chronic patient is becoming more frequent due to the increasing population aging and exposure to unhealthy lifestyle habits, which modify the patterns of multimorbidity and the way of getting sick. It is a common patient profile in the internal medicine services, but at the same time unique, since its comorbidities require special attention from the internist, rarely reflected in clinical guidelines.Currently it is estimated that up to 61% of hospitalized patients present this profile and that even the 50% of admissions may be due to decompensated pathologies of complex chronic patients“.

It is important to continue celebrating these days because they stand as a “opportunity to bring scientific exchange between internists closer, always with the patient in the focus and in order to improve the approach to their comorbidities. “At Boehringer Ingelheim we are deeply proud to continue contributing to this type of meeting, which aims to contribute to the scientific update of health professionals in order to ensure that patients receive the best possible care,” concludes García.

Because health we all need…

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