In the United States, it is unanimously agreed that changing the status quo in healthcare is a pressing requirement that must be addressed. One example of how technology has altered care delivery is the use of diverse technologies. Telehealth is one of the most technologically advanced and engaging tools now accessible at home healthcare today; it is imperative that we welcome disruptive innovation in all of its forms. RPM (remote patient monitoring) systems are telehealth technologies that promise to make care coordination easier. Rather than replacing personal encounters, RPM is often used in conjunction with them to accomplish good care coordination.
What is Care Coordination?
Providing care coordination, particularly for chronic illness management and transitional care, is a priority in the healthcare reform movement.
Care coordination is the deliberate planning of patient care activities and sharing information to offer patients safer and more effective care. This implies that the patient’s needs and preferences are known ahead of time and communicated to the appropriate individuals at the appropriate time. This information is used to provide the patient with safe, appropriate, and effective treatment. The primary goal is to address the needs and preferences of patients while also providing high-quality, high-value health care to them.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has distinguished two methods for coordinating care: broad techniques frequently utilized to improve health care delivery and specific care coordination activities.
Examples of broad care coordination
- Care management.
- Medication management.
- Health information technology.
- Patient-centered medical home.
Examples of specific care coordination
- Establishing accountability and reaching an accountability agreement.
- Communicating/exchanging knowledge.
- Assisting with care transitions.
- Assessing the patient’s needs and objectives.
- Developing a proactive care plan.
- Monitoring and follow-up, including the ability to adapt to changes in patients’ requirements.
- Assisting patients in achieving their self-management goals.
- Connecting to community resources.
- Aligning resources with patient and population needs.
Why it matters?
The Institute of Medicine recognizes care coordination as a critical strategy for enhancing the effectiveness, safety, and efficiency of the United States’ healthcare delivery system. Well-designed and focused care coordination given to the appropriate individuals can benefit patients, providers, and payers alike.
Despite the apparent need for care coordination, there are significant hurdles to overcome within the American healthcare system before this sort of care can be provided. To better coordinate patient care, it is necessary to redesign a health care system. This is crucial for the following reasons:
- There is a great disconnect in today’s healthcare system, and processes differ between primary and specialty care facilities.
- Patients are usually perplexed about why they have been sent from general care to a specialist, schedule appointments, and what to do following their meeting with a physician.
- There are many different processes and lists of information to deal with when it is necessary for a primary care physician (PCP) to refer an individual to a specialist, which reduces the efficiency of care.
- Specialists do not always obtain clear explanations for referrals or adequate information about previously performed tests.
How Remote Patient Monitoring helps in Care Coordination?
Telemedicine developed early in the COVID-19 pandemic as a highly successful method of safely providing patients’ ambulatory care needs while minimizing the risk of COVID transmission between patients and caregivers. Telemedicine can improve the patient experience through improved care coordination dramatically and aid health care organizations in their financial recovery and serve as an essential mode of care delivery.
Telehealth platforms such as RPM allow patients to self-monitor their vitals and answer questions about their symptoms regularly. Furthermore, it allows physicians to receive notifications if any high-risk readings are identified, allowing them to take proactive measures to handle the situation before it becomes worse. Patient empowerment and encouragement to exercise self-management are two of the most significant benefits of telehealth.
Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) allows a healthcare provider to assess physiological data transmitted by a patient. Several different billing codes can be used in the context of remote monitoring. However, specific automated equipment, such as those capable of wirelessly syncing and uploading data points to the patient portal, is required. In addition, other remote monitoring services, such as self-measured blood pressure monitoring, do not have the same standards as traditional monitoring services. DrKumo, the leader in Next-Gen RPM, offers these cutting-edge solutions through its simple-to-use medical devices and mobile applications.
Health plans with an established care coordination team might employ RPM devices to monitor patients’ vital signs and notify healthcare providers of any changes that could be potentially dangerous to the patient’s health. In addition, it is possible for health plans that are unable to deliver these services in-house to collaborate with home health organizations or hospital systems that can monitor patients and keep the care coordination team as well as the primary care provider informed of their status.
Telehealth aids to care coordination improvement by ensuring that patients gain a better understanding of their condition, encouraging self-monitoring, expanding the reach of care coordinators, and enabling the patient’s care team to make more efficient interventions when needed.