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Although Remote Patient Monitoring has been around for years, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated its use by easily allowing providers to gain valuable insight into their patients’ health progress while they remained safely at home.
During the height of the COVID pandemic, many hospitals and health systems launched successful RPM programs to monitor the vitals and symptom data of their patients. Some examples include Providence St. Joseph Health, University Hospitals, St. Luke’s University Health Network, and Mount Sinai Health System. Recognizing its benefits, other hospitals like Mayo Clinic are in the process of establishing their own programs.
The use of Remote Patient Monitoring will continue well past the pandemic. In fact, it’s expected to grow by 38% in the coming years as more providers set up programs to better monitor the health status of their patients and intervene when needed. Based on its continued growth, your healthcare organization may be interested in implementing and running a successful RPM program. That’s why we gathered valuable tips from both industry experts and Wellbox’s own experience below.
With its numerous benefits, it’s important to identify how starting a Remote Patient Monitoring program could align with your organizational strategy. For example, it could be beneficial to launch it if you would like to accomplish the following:
This tip can be learned best from Baptist Health, a health system that launched its Remote Patient Monitoring program before the COVID-19 pandemic. In late 2019, Baptist Health implemented its platform to manage heart disease and COPD patients, “with the goal of improving patient experience and quality of care by lowering the hospital readmission rate,” according to Healthcare IT News.
Once the pandemic began to spread, Baptist Health shifted its goals to include monitoring coronavirus patients while at home. Remote Patient Monitoring gave patients the ability to recover outside the hospital and for providers to deliver quality care to patients virtually. The results included zero hospital readmissions post-discharge. This solution helped Baptist Health reach its strategic goals while providing care and security to both patients and providers alike.
The success of a Remote Patient Monitoring program can truly depend on the rate of patient engagement and how often patients report their outcomes. If patients are engaged and report their vitals consistently, providers will receive data that is more accurate. One way to assist this objective is with clinician engagement. In fact, patient-reported outcomes can increase with its help.
According to a study published in JAMA Network Open, patient outcomes collection reached 50 percent or better when clinicians were engaged in the program. This was accomplished by providing clinician training for patient engagement, administrative oversight of collection, and overall support for their efforts.
When clinicians are better prepared and supported, they are equipped to reach out to patients and keep them engaged in their healthcare management. At Wellbox, our clinical team is trained to reach out to patients every month, encourage and offer accountability to patients’ health goals, and collect outcome measures. This is how we maintain a patient engagement rate of over 90 percent. Our clinicians feel supported so they can provide better care to patients, ultimately increasing patient involvement in their healthcare.
Historically, several populations have not had proper access to healthcare services. They include underserved patients, those living in areas with disproportionately high rates of chronic disease, and those facing other barriers to care. These disparities are estimated to account for $93 billion in excess medical care costs and $42 billion in lost productivity annually.
With these barriers to care in mind, it’s essential to consider how to make Remote Patient Monitoring accessible to all patients. Exploring solutions that can bring care to patients who need it most can help bridge the gap and equitably improve patient outcomes.
When these services are delivered, they have been found to reach underserved patient populations and benefit them, according to a study in the American Journal of Managed Care. By providing patients with effective remote monitoring, they can better manage their conditions and help reduce hospital admissions. Therefore, decreasing healthcare expenditures.
The effectiveness of a program can be measured by the right metrics and goals. The American Medical Association (AMA) recommends defining success with measurable metrics, goals that benefit the organization, and a criterion that re-evaluates the program as needed.
In the case of Remote Patient Monitoring, many providers find it beneficial to measure success with patient-oriented outcomes. Medscape describes patient-oriented outcomes as directly related to patients’ experience of their illness and quality of life.
For example, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania launched a remote monitoring pilot that evaluated patient-oriented outcomes based on their postpartum hypertension patients. When the pilot showed a decrease in hospital admissions and improved health in their patients, the solution was able to gradually expand due to the proven success of the program.
Remote Patient Monitoring is a valuable practice to have at an organization but providing the staffing and capabilities to deliver it can be challenging. It’s important to consider which team will monitor and analyze the clinical data received and if it’s technically achievable for your practice and patients to utilize the devices.
One way to ensure the delivery of the program is to partner with a population health solution provider. AMA’s Remote Patient Monitoring Implementation Playbook recommends evaluating and partnering with possible vendors that will enable your organization’s goals. A vendor who is worthy of a long-term partnership and will ensure you have:
If you’re looking for a partner, look no further than Wellbox where we act as an extension of your practice. We support your organization throughout the implementation process by providing data collection, offering the management and security of devices, and conducting patient enrollment.
Our team of registered nurses helps coordinate the care of patients by quickly and efficiently alerting you of any concerns in the data. After each encounter, they also document notes directly within your EHR, allowing you to keep track of patients’ health.
At Wellbox, we’re dedicated to making a significant and positive impact on the financial and clinical outcomes of your organization with our solutions. If leveraging our turnkey Remote Patient Monitoring solution sounds like something that could work well for you and your patients, contact us today!Share to