When you think of telehealth services, you may think of provider visits that are conducted over a video platform; while that is one aspect of telehealth, it’s not the only one. Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is another part of telehealth that can provide both physicians and patients with significant benefits in terms of operational efficiency and improved health outcomes. If you have been thinking about RPM services, here is a checklist of important considerations to get the right turnkey RPM partner and the right services for your patients.
Review Your Patient Population
There are certain patient populations that need remote patient monitoring more than others, so before you partner with a remote patient monitoring company, review your current patient demographics to determine which patients could most benefit from it. For example, if you have a high volume of patients managing one or more chronic diseases, implementing RPM could significantly reduce the total emergency room visits and hospitalizations, a key quality metric, and cost-reduction goal under MIPS. It can also be valuable to understand how many patients are being monitored for specific conditions to ensure the devices you need most are available. For example, if through an analysis of your practice you determine the vast majority of your patients would benefit from blood glucose monitoring you might select a different partner than if the population is more dynamic with a requirement for a wider array of devices.
Once you identify a patient population that can benefit from this type of monitoring, the next question is whether you can get these patients engaged and using the platform. It’s important to have a technology partner with a simple solution that is easy for patients to use, and easy for your staff to take action by managing and intervening as appropriate.
Review Your Internal Workflows
The next step is to figure out your internal workflows so there is a clear process to monitor and analyze the information coming in from your patients. Workflows that help care teams evaluate the information, spot trends, and follow-up with the patient when there is some action required are essential for success. A solution like Wellbox may be even better. It acts as an extension of your practice, with a team of registered nurses who are monitor data, inputting notes about encounters directly into your EHR, and notify your staff of any concerns to ensure continuity of care at all levels. There’s no need to hire more staff or put more burden on your already-busy physicians, APCs, MAs, and nurses.
Additionally, a third-party solution, like Wellbox, would absorb the IT burden – helping patients select, receive, set up, and troubleshoot devices as part of the service.
Review Clinical Outcome Goals
One of the most promising aspects of RPM is the ability to improve clinical outcomes for patients who need extra monitoring and assistance in managing complex health conditions. Studies show that patient monitoring devices are more reliable than self-reported data.
RPM can monitor and help:
- Reduce blood pressure in patients with hypertension
- Reduce hospitalization rates and decrease mortality rates for patients with heart conditions such as atrial fibrillation
- Lower A1c levels in diabetic patients in conjunction with a chronic care management (CCM) program
In part two of this blog we’ll discuss some additional items to consider when you’re ready to implement remote patient monitoring technologies. To learn more about how Wellbox and AdvancedMD can help your practice, contact us today.