Remote patient monitoring is one of the many tools healthcare providers use to help decrease hospital stay lengths and readmission rates and improve patient outcomes. This care delivery method also enables better engagement between physicians and patients.
How RPM Works
As the name implies, remote patient monitoring involves using telehealth technology to monitor patients from a distance remotely. This is an important part of the broader telehealth industry and e-health domain. RPM devices can measure health data like heart rate, blood pressure, sleep patterns, glucose levels, and more to transmit to healthcare providers in other locations. The resulting real-time measurements can help healthcare professionals to identify and respond to changes in patient health status.
For example, if an RPM system detects that a patient may require immediate medical attention, the clinician can notify emergency services or call 911. Additionally, many RPM tools can integrate with the hospital’s EMR to reduce duplicative documentation. Providing RPM services to patients can strengthen the patient-provider relationship and improve patient retention and loyalty. RPM programs also allow hospitals to compete with other providers and attract prospective patients.
Patients use remote patient monitoring devices at home, work, or on the go to collect biometric readings and transmit them to their providers. The data can be monitored in real-time, and the provider is alerted to any risk trends. This helps improve communication between patients and physicians and increases patient engagement and overall health outcomes.
For instance, patients who utilize CoachCare remote patient monitoring can often reduce costs (to themselves and the healthcare system) by avoiding emergency room visits and lengthy hospital stays and preventing readmissions. To help patients adhere to their care plan, providers should provide clear instructions on using the device and offer support and guidance. The best way to implement RPM is to start with a pilot program and scale slowly after demonstrating success. This allows clinicians to become familiar with the tools and ensures they fit seamlessly into their workflows, reducing staff stress and increasing patient adoption rates.
Whether connected to an app or an in-office device, remote patient monitoring solutions gather standard physiological data like weight, vital signs, blood pressure, and heart rate. The data is transmitted to a provider, who then analyzes and communicates the results to the patient.
For healthcare practitioners, these devices offer a quicker and more accurate view of a patient’s health data than what can be captured at a regular in-office appointment. This information helps physicians make better decisions for their patients—and can help them avoid expensive complications.
RPM is useful for patients with chronic conditions who have trouble traveling or live far from traditional care sites. For example, RPM tools can help diabetic patients stay on top of their glucose levels by sending them a reminder to take their insulin or a notification if their blood sugar is too high.
For RPM to be a successful tool, patients must be engaged. This means they understand their role in a treatment plan, how it affects their health goals, and their progress. Engaged patients are also more likely to adhere to treatment protocol, which improves outcomes.
The most effective way to engage patients is through regular updates. This includes educating them on new advancements in their treatment plans, sharing results of previous tests and treatments, and providing clear instructions on uploading data. Using a secure, easy-to-use patient portal that supports telehealth functions helps to improve engagement by making it more accessible for patients. It’s best to begin with a small group of patients you’ll work with regularly and carefully monitor the outcomes of your telehealth program. This will help you assess its performance and whether your healthcare organization can implement it on a larger scale.