How Remote Patient Monitoring is Revolutionizing Healthcare
In addition to convenience for patients, remote patient monitoring provides additional benefits for healthcare professionals. By enabling them to monitor more patients from home, it can reduce the strain on hospital resources and provide an additional revenue stream.
This is particularly important for patients with conditions that require frequent monitoring, such as diabetes, COPD, and sleep apnea. Using devices such as pulse oximeters, connected thermometers, and ECG or stethoscopes at home can reduce the need for in-person visits.
Improved Patient Care
Remote patient monitoring has provided many patients with improved care, particularly those with chronic health conditions. This type of monitoring allows them to stay at home with the help of medical devices that monitor their health status, such as blood glucose monitors, connected stethoscopes, and pulse oximeters.
These tools allow physicians to remotely watch patients’ vital signs and other symptoms, catching out-of-range or alarming data in real time. This helps them adjust the patients’ management programs, ultimately improving their health outcomes.
The growing number of patients with chronic health conditions also drives remote patient monitoring adoption, especially with updates to Medicare rules and reimbursement guidelines that allow it to be covered by a more significant percentage of insurers. According to professionals in the healthcare field like Mark Hirschhorn, this will enable patients to access the benefits of RPM at a more affordable rate and with more significant influence over their healthcare.
In a time when healthcare organizations are facing a shortage of practitioners, remote patient monitoring can help bring care to the patients where they are—at home.
Reduced Hospital Admissions & Readmissions
For example, remote monitoring devices like glucose or heart rate monitors could notify healthcare professionals when readings are off or could indicate a fall. These alerts can help avoid unnecessary trips to the emergency room and save money in the long run, especially as it’s less costly for patients to stay at home and continue with treatment than to return to the hospital.
Moreover, a recent study found that when telemonitoring was added to standard care after a hospital stay, it reduced readmissions by 20 percent compared to the control group. This was due to a combination of traditional readmission prevention methods, including patient education, medication reconciliation, and a follow-up phone call within 72 hours of discharge.
Many populations most in need of healthcare are underserved and face barriers to accessing care, which is where remote patient monitoring makes a difference. Consistent monitoring outside the doctor’s office empowers these patients to live their lives confidently while remaining connected to their clinician, essential to maintaining adherence.
Increased Patient Adherence
Remote monitoring tools help patients stay connected to their practitioners between virtual visits. Devices like pulse oximeters, digital thermometers, and stethoscopes allow individuals to take their vitals in the comfort of their homes or other locations, helping them keep up with their care between appointments.
For individuals with chronic conditions, real-time data collection is vital. RPM can alert clinicians when a patient’s condition worsens, enabling them to intervene immediately and reduce health risks, leading to fewer hospital admissions.
For example, many HRS clients use biometric monitoring devices for their COVID-19 programs to monitor a patient’s lung sounds remotely, allowing them to catch any out-of-range readings that may warrant a change in management program or prescription.
This helps reduce the number of COVID-related readmissions, easing pressure on hospitals and the healthcare system. This type of monitoring also allows doctors to prepare their patients for in-person virtual visits better, making the clinical experience more seamless and convenient for everyone involved.
Improved Patient Satisfaction
Patients who use remote patient monitoring benefit from an enhanced sense of security that a dedicated healthcare team is always watching their backs. This can be particularly important for individuals with one or more chronic health conditions, as they may feel that their condition is out of their control, and the regular physical appointments they attend can make them feel insecure about their current state.
Most RPM devices have been designed with an ease-of-use interface that makes them as simple as possible for various patients to manage. This includes cellular-enabled blood pressure monitors that work out of the box without requiring a smartphone, tablet, or other device to give a more accessible option to more patients.
In addition, many RPM tools allow for long-term data collection and more detailed analysis than is possible in a short-term wearable, like a fitness tracker or smartphone app. This can help a healthcare team to recognize trends better and make more informed clinical decisions about care plans, such as adjusting medication regimens for patients with chronic diseases or modifying at-home therapy programs.