Delivering Connected Care Through Remote Patient Monitoring

October 4, 2023 • 4 minute read

In various healthcare scenarios, your patients may find themselves far from your immediate care, such as in the case of palliative or post-acute care provided at home. However, this physical distance should not diminish the importance of providing them with the attention they deserve, even in altered contexts.  Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) has played a […]

In various healthcare scenarios, your patients may find themselves far from your immediate care, such as in the case of palliative or post-acute care provided at home. However, this physical distance should not diminish the importance of providing them with the attention they deserve, even in altered contexts. 

Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) has played a significant role in addressing this challenge over the years. It has been utilised extensively to measure heart rhythms, remotely detect heart conditions, and monitor cardiovascular diseases. The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic only worked to propel its adoption. With lockdown measures aimed at minimising potential patient exposure to infectious individuals, there was a rapid transition from traditional in-person visits to telehealth consultations and virtual healthcare processes. This accelerated the integration of RPM into healthcare specialties that had previously lagged behind.

Similar to other telehealth and telemedicine modalities, the implementation of RPM rapidly expanded and evolved during and after the pandemic. In fact, it is projected that by 2024, approximately 30 million patients in the US will have access to RPM services and tools. Additional research has also shown promising outcomes for patients with chronic diseases. One such study, conducted on subjects with obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure showed that those who were monitored remotely experienced lower readmission rates, fewer emergency visits, and even shorter hospital stays.

RPM not only empowers caregivers to monitor multiple patients simultaneously, it also reduces in-person healthcare costs, alleviates the strain on hospitals, offers flexibility in care delivery, and actively encourages patient engagement. As healthcare continues to evolve, RPM stands as a crucial tool in bridging the gap between healthcare providers and patients, regardless of the physical distances that may separate them.

Benefits of Remote Patient Monitoring

  • Early Disease Detection: This study showed that RPM can detect changes in a patient’s health status before symptoms become apparent. This early detection allows healthcare providers to intervene promptly, potentially preventing the progression of diseases or complications.
  • Reduced Healthcare Costs: RPM contributes substantially to cost reduction by mitigating hospital readmissions, minimising emergency room visits, and reducing the necessity for frequent in-person appointments. For instance, this healthcare clinic implemented an RPM system and achieved impressive results, saving an astounding $500,000 within just 30 days through reduced readmission costs and penalties.

Additionally, RPM eases the financial burden on patients by eliminating the need for travel to medical appointments, which has been found as one of the major stumbling blocks to patients in need of medical attention in the US.

  • Timely Medication Management: RPM helps ensure that patients take their medications as prescribed. Medication adherence is crucial for managing chronic conditions, and RPM systems can send reminders and track adherence, reducing the risk of medication-related complications.
  • Personalised Care Plans: RPM allows healthcare providers to tailor treatment plans and interventions based on individual patient data. This personalised approach ensures that patients receive the right care at the right time, improving the effectiveness of their treatment. This modality has also been found to increase self-management and engagement in patients.
  • Efficient Use of Healthcare Resources: RPM optimises the allocation of healthcare resources by focusing attention on patients who need it most. It reduces the strain on healthcare facilities, as healthcare providers can prioritise care for patients with critical needs.
  • Continuous Monitoring for Chronic Conditions: For patients with chronic illnesses, RPM offers continuous monitoring beyond sporadic office visits. This ensures that healthcare providers have a more comprehensive view of the patient’s health status and can make timely adjustments to treatment plans. 

A study at the Cancer Institute at the University of Utah showed that patients enrolled in their at-home remote monitoring program had a 58% less chance of unplanned hospital visits and shorter stays in the case they were admitted.

Implementing a Remote Monitoring Strategy

Start with a Clear Strategy

Begin by defining your objectives and goals for implementing RPM. Determine which patient populations will benefit most and how RPM fits into your overall care delivery mode.

Involve physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals in the planning process. Ensure they understand the benefits of RPM and are trained in using the technology effectively.

Select the Right Technology

Opt for RPM devices and platforms that closely align with the specific needs of your patient population and clinical requirements. It’s crucial to choose technology that is user-friendly not only for patients but also for healthcare providers. 

An ideal solution should allow you to create tailored protocols for monitoring, data analysis, and response to critical alerts. It should also enable you to define clear roles and responsibilities for healthcare providers based on their specialties and levels of clearance. Importantly, ensure that the chosen technology complies with data privacy and security standards, given the importance of safeguarding electronically transmitted patient data

With Meddbase, you’ll enjoy seamless integration allowing you to view and manage RPM data alongside other patient records, streamlining the overall healthcare workflow.

Loop your Patients in

Start by offering a comprehensive orientation session to patients. Explain the purpose of RPM, emphasising its role in enhancing their healthcare experience and improving their overall well-being. 

Provide step-by-step training on how to use the RPM devices. Ensure that patients are comfortable with the setup, including attaching sensors, taking readings, and transmitting data to the monitoring system. 

Clarify what types of data will be collected through the RPM system. Patients should understand that this typically includes vital signs such as blood pressure, heart rate, blood glucose levels, and more, depending on their specific condition.

Provide information on common issues or challenges patients might encounter while using the RPM devices. Ensure they know how to troubleshoot minor problems and how to reach out for technical support when needed.

Scale Gradually

Start your RPM program with a targeted approach, focusing on a smaller patient population or specific clinical conditions initially, and be open to learning and necessary adjustments. 

Continuously evaluate RPM’s impact on patient outcomes, cost efficiency, and satisfaction, using data to refine and optimise the program. It is vital that you also stay informed about evolving regulations and reimbursement policies to ensure ongoing compliance with changing healthcare guidelines. This adaptive strategy allows your RPM initiative to evolve effectively, benefiting your practice and the patients it serves.

As we’ve explored, RPM offers a multitude of benefits, from early disease detection to substantial cost savings and improved patient engagement. As technology continues to advance and regulations evolve, those who embrace it stand at the forefront of a healthcare revolution that promises better outcomes for all.


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