How does Remote Patient Monitoring work, and how can clinics implement it in safe, successful ways?
Deploying a Remote Patient Monitoring program can seem like an overwhelming undertaking, with many clinics and providers unsure of where or how to start. The industry surrounding RPM devices, implementation, and program management has many offerings, and countless companies pushing to be at the forefront of service provision.
For clinics, the promises and service descriptions provided by these companies can be confusing, with buzz words and overcomplicated technical overviews that fail to clearly address the real questions and needs of providers.
We’ve answered the most common questions about RPM deployment, to dispel some of the mystery surrounding remote patient monitoring and how it is actually, and effectively, implemented.
1) What is Remote Patient Monitoring?
Remote Patient Monitoring refers to the collection of patient metrics, such as blood pressure, weight, and blood glucose, from the patient’s home, or any location that is remote to a physical clinic.
Remote monitoring and other telehealth features allow patients to automatically report readings and manage their conditions in more consistent, easier ways. RPM also creates the capacity for virtual appointments instead of compulsory in-clinic visits, which has been shown to increase adherence to physician-created health plans.
Remote Patient Monitoring is an effective extension of on-location clinical activities, which creates added value for patients and providers through increased data collection and automated reporting and alert features.
2) Does RPM integrate with my Electronic Medical Record system?
RPM programs can easily and automatically be integrated with any existing EMR system. Integrating RPM to a clinic’s existing Electronic Medical Record system is the single most crucial success factor in remote monitoring program deployment. This integration results in quicker implementation, reduced staff training costs, and increased staff solution adoption.
As RPM leads to higher volumes of patient touch-points, data, and reports, it is vital that this information is reflected in patient EMRs. Automatic integration of this data, while not offered by all providers, is a critical element in the success of RPM programming, and is a must-have feature in order to scale these programs.
The most effective services, such as Accuhealth’s, ensure complete, automatic integration of biometric data and reports from RPM into EMR. This integration feature is fundamental, and is a basic requirement that all clinics should have in their RPM programs.
3) How are patients tracked?
Patients using RPM services are tracked via telemonitoring devices. These devices allow for the continuous collection of biometric data such as Blood Pressure, Weight, Blood Glucose, and other common readings. While many RPM programs offer bluetooth devices, results have shown that cellular devices are more effective in the long-term implementation of Remote Patient Monitoring.
With cellular devices, when irregularities do occur, both patients and clinics are alerted via phone call and/or SMS alerts, and can create effective interventions that significantly reduce avoidable hospitalizations.
RPM programs using third-party providers such as Accuhealth see the greatest rates of success in improving patient health outcomes. This form of RPM includes a third-party clinical team who can triage patient data, and who directly transfer this information to a patient’s overseeing healthcare practitioner.
Additionally, remote patient monitoring programs can also include subscriptions to admission/discharge services, so that providers are made aware of any hospital admissions and discharges their patients experience. Clinics who’s programs include these features experience more significant reductions in patient hospitalizations, and are better able to provide transitional care that reduces readmissions.
Another tracking capacity provided in RPM is real-team patient data transfer. While most providers do not automatically offer this feature, research has shown that clinics contracting providers with real-time data transfer reported the most positive results in emergency reduction.
There are many forms of patient-tracking involved in RPM programs. However, the most effective methods remain to be the most simple; real-time, 24/7 third-party monitoring, using cellular devices with the capacity to instantly alert clinics to critical biometric readings.
4) Does RPM really work?
RPM has measurably positive impacts on both clinic revenue and patient health outcomes. In an interview of clinics currently implementing RPM solutions, the average clinic saw a 15% to 25% increase in appointment volume. This increase led to significantly improved profit margins, with clinics gaining 100% more revenue per patient per year.
In relation to patient health, RPM creates research-backed improvements in managing health outcomes and risk scoring. RPM leads to larger volumes of actionable health data, which allows patients and providers to make better, faster decisions regarding a patient’s managed condition. Research supports these benefits, with patients using RPM services for conditions such as diabetes experiencing a 15 point blood sugar reduction at 30 days on average, and a 32 point blood sugar reduction at 12 months.
Within the same research study, it was shown that RPM was able to reduce avoidable hospitalizations by 20%. The real-time patient data transfer facilitated by remote patient monitoring services like Accuhealth’s allows for both patients and providers to receive alerts about irregularities in various biometric readings. This creates the capacity to recognize and stop emergencies without patients going to the ER.
5) Can RPM really help scale my clinic?
Scalability is the one of the biggest concerns for any clinic when it comes to implementing a remote patient monitoring program. Without the ability to scale RPM services, the return on investment for implementation is insignificant, and leads to wasted time and resources.
The true key to RPM scalability is engagement. The more patients a clinic has engaging with their remote monitoring programs, the easier it is to scale to more clients.
Fortunately, Remote Patient Monitoring services create immediate, automated ways to scale clinical activities and revenue. However, the biggest success factor in RPM scalability is choosing the right telehealth provider.
It is critical to work with a provider whose services are designed to actually support the growth of a clinic’s program, and whose platforms promote engagement, rather than complicate it.
Providers like Accuhealth have created platforms and services that directly anticipate, support, and even encourage the growth of RPM programs over time, due to the simplicity of engagement that they create.
Accuhealth’s full-service, turnkey RPM solutions reduce common roadblocks faced by clinics using other providers, and include features that optimize scalability potential. Accuhealth’s platforms can sustain over 1500 patients per week, a capacity higher than most clinical referral abilities. Accuhealth also assumes all upfront costs, which further reduces barriers to scalability.
While there are many things to consider in beginning an RPM program, deployment doesn’t have to be complicated. The many factors that come into play for successful implementation can be easily understood and achieved with the right telehealth provider. Accuhealth takes the uncertainty out of remote monitoring implementation, and makes effective RPM accessible to clinics across the United States.
Accuhealth is transparent about its process of deployment and management, so that clinics and providers can feel confident in creating their own successful programs. For more answers to your questions about how to implement an RPM program at your clinic, visit acculhealth.tech.