Healthcare is a rapidly evolving field in terms of technology and services. A recent advancement in this field is Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM), which has numerous advantages in an aging world population with increasing health complications.
With relatively easy applications and devices to monitor patients inside hospitals, technology has developed to the point where patients can stay at home while still being monitored using modern communication and sensor technologies. A remote monitoring system is composed of data acquisition, data processing, and communication network. Data acquisition system consists of various sensors or devices with integrated sensors and wireless data transmission capability. The scope of remote healthcare includes everything from monitoring chronically ill patients, the elderly, premature children, and even accident victims.
RPM can benefit patients, providers, and the entire healthcare system by improving health outcomes, lowering costs, and increasing efficiency.
The Benefits of RPM for Patients
Improved Chronic Disease Management through RPM
Chronic conditions account for 90% of healthcare costs in the United States, but many are preventable or can be managed better through patient behavior modification. Remote patient monitoring can help improve chronic disease management by collecting and analyzing additional patient-generated health data, such as blood glucose levels in diabetes and blood pressure levels in hypertension. Understanding the values and how to manage them can assist patients in meeting their goals.
Reduced Emergencies, hospitalizations and readmissions
Chronic conditions cost the United States more than $3 trillion per year, but improved chronic disease management can prevent or delay a number of costly events such as emergency room visits, hospitalizations and readmissions. If RPM supports patients in maintaining normal values for measurements such as blood sugar or blood pressure, the risk of serious and expensive emergency situations decreases.
More control over personal health
Next-Generation RPM programs are equipped with a user-friendly mobile-enabled application that provides patients with holistic health analysis. Using Bluetooth remote patient monitoring devices, we can help patients improve their lifestyle or diet, and adherence to medication and treatment plans.
Fewer physical visits using patient home monitoring
RPM enables patients to stay at home and be monitored by their healthcare providers. This means they have lower exposure to COVID-19 and other illnesses, less travel time and cost.
Better support and education
RPM also provides patients with increased levels of education, support, and feedback regarding their health when compared to traditional healthcare models— due to this continuous, instantaneous connection between patients and their providers. Since providers receive holistic and timely information about a patient’s health condition, they can provide better personalized and individualized care.
Telehealth lowers patient travel costs
Patients spend a significant amount of money and time seeking medical attention. Imagine how the costs of travel, parking, and time off work can accumulate in every visit. Patients in some rural areas must travel overnight to reach specialists in more urban areas. RPM offers innovations that allow doctors to communicate with the patient via phone, laptop, or other digital devices. Patients can receive quality care without making unnecessary visits, which means we can improve their health with less medical cost.
Monitoring offers Better quality of care
Health data generated from patients provide valuable insights that healthcare providers would not have access otherwise — meaning that they have more tools for evaluation, diagnosis and treatment prescription. Moreover, rather than waiting until their condition deteriorates dangerously before scheduling and managing a visit to their care provider’s office, remote patient monitoring enables patients to engage in real-time monitoring and symptom analysis with their providers.
The Benefits of RPM for Providers
RPM has the potential to improve clinical workflow efficiency. By capturing, storing, and using patient data for better medical decision-making, it can serve as a conduit for faster prioritization of care delivery, triaging each case, and improving communication. These tools can aid in performance enhancements and patient satisfaction.
Furthermore, if healthcare providers can reduce waiting room congestion and devote more time to patients who require immediate attention, they can increase productivity by seeing more patients, which can result in higher revenue for their practice.
Increased practice Revenue Streams
RPM is more convenient for both patient and provider. It allows healthcare providers to bill for remote patient interactions like phone calls while also extending hours to capture more billable time. In addition, telehealth practice cuts down patient no-shows and improves work productivity. RPM can also help providers gain a competitive edge by attracting and retaining more patients through innovative care models.
Remote patient monitoring can help physicians increase revenue streams through CPT codes 99457 and 99458, which reimburse physicians for time spent on remote care activities such as reviewing patient data. Healthcare providers who use devices that seamlessly integrate into physician workflows, collect large amounts of data, and improve patient health stand to benefit more from RPM.
Increased Patient Engagement and Satisfaction
Through RPM, patients are aware that someone is monitoring them and caring about their health as data is being transmitted to their providers. This helps improve patient accountability, knowing that a provider may be notified if they fail to adhere from a health management plan, such as skipping exercise or diet plans.
Proactive treatment necessitates clinicians teaching patients how to care for themselves in between virtual clinical visits. With the prevalence of chronic health conditions, using remote monitoring is just one way for medical providers to improve outcomes as they achieve more patient engagement.
Patients take a more active role in their care and decision-making when they can collect their own data via wearables and other RPM devices. The more a physician trusts his or her patients to understand their own condition and treatment, the more patients will trust the physician’s recommendations—and the more engaged they will be in their care. In healthcare, remote monitoring increases patient engagement, which results in improved health outcomes and patient satisfaction.
Greater access to care and reach more patients
We are aware of the growing physician shortage; RPM has the potential to help expand provider networks in modern ways to increase access to care. RPM can be used to connect patients in rural areas and outside the reach of normal care delivery systems. RPM also bridges digital divide in healthcare, allowing less tech-savvy elderly patients to take charge of their own health.
Reduces patient no-shows
There are many reasons for no-shows and same-day cancellations such as patients forgetting about their appointments, logistical factors like transportation or childcare issues, inability to get time off from work, long waiting time at the physician’s clinics, fear of cross-infections, etc. These no-shows reduce revenues, waste staff time, create artificial access problems, and negatively affect patient care.
Telehealth visits enable patients to schedule appointments at more convenient times and from any location. That means that if they have children at home or are pressed for time between work meetings, they can consult with their doctors via a connected health platform from the comfort of their homes or offices. Virtual visits can save patients not only time during their actual consultations, but also on travel and waiting time.
Patients with chronic diseases who require regular visits to monitor their health may run the risk of developing complications if they miss appointments. Remote patient monitoring systems can help reduce the need for in-person visits by recording and transmitting patient data to providers via connected monitoring devices. Virtual visits allow physicians to complete routine check-ins while also allowing for a quick response if RPM readings exceed predefined thresholds.
Benefits of RPM for the U.S. Healthcare System
In Remote Patient Monitoring, everyone wins— not only healthcare providers and patients but the entire US healthcare system as well. With the ever-growing costs of treating chronic diseases, our healthcare systems can then focus more on preventive care. Industry leaders are fully aware that effective prevention is one of the best ways to reduce health care costs and improve patient well-being, but this is difficult to focus on when so many people in America are already chronically affected. RPM greatly expands access to care; reduces visits to the emergency room, hospitals and readmissions; increases physicians’ productivity, etc. In addition, remote patient monitoring is also beneficial to the US healthcare system by allowing more patients to be treated at home despite the persistent shortage of medical practitioners. Other forms of office visits will have more capacity, whereas individuals with chronic illnesses will have fewer appointments. These benefits could lead to considerable annual savings.
To know more about Remote Patient Monitoring Technology, check this RPM Comprehensive Guide.