As you may have heard by now, the clinical and financial benefits of Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) have been well documented. RPM can be a very powerful clinical tool. It enables providers and their clinical staff to make real-time changes to a patient’s treatment plan based on physiological data. Reactive chronic or acute care can become proactive and preventive, improving outcomes and the patient care experience, all while lowering costs. And it provides a unique opportunity for patients to become more engaged in their own healthcare.
While the potential for RPM to positively impact our patients’ lives is significant, it does require strong leadership, dedicated staff, and careful planning to implement successfully. An RPM program will impact many existing processes at your practice like scheduling and will require the creation of new workflows such as device management.
It’s critical to have all members of your office that will be involved in RPM to understand their roles and be bought into the process. The time investment from various staff members is not insignificant, so it’s important that everyone understands why the practice is launching an RPM program and aligns with the RPM goals for the practice.
Remote Patient Monitoring also has the potential to change and improve the patient-provider relationship. Your team needs to be engaged, educated, and empowered to have these conversations about the benefits and expectations of RPM with patients.
To assess if your team is ready to launch a successful RPM program, we would strongly recommend identifying and engaging the following key players that will be involved in RPM.
- Executive Champion: Responsible for creating the business case for RPM, defining the goals, and driving organizational buy-in. The Executive Champion will also be involved in the selection of an RPM partner and key decisions, such as which conditions to monitor and whether the practice should monitor patients with internal staff or use partner-managed monitoring.
- RPM Lead: The go-to person who leads the day-to-day efforts for RPM. The RPM Lead will be the primary contact interfacing with your RPM partner. They will ensure there is adequate staff time allocated for patient identification, onboarding, monitoring, and billing. In partnership with the RPM vendor, they will track the performance of the RPM program against the practice’s goals. They will also be responsible for ongoing device ordering as the program grows. The RPM Lead and Exec Champion can be the same person, especially in smaller practices.
- Ordering Providers: RPM must be ordered by a Physician or Qualified Healthcare Provider. Every ordering provider must understand the practice’s criteria for RPM and what should be included in an RPM order (frequency of readings, specific instructions such as take readings after medications, thresholds for normal readings etc.). Providers must also be engaged in creating escalation processes and have availability to adjust medications and patient treatment plans when escalations occur.
- Clinical Staff: Clinical staff, including nurses and medical assistants, are truly the heart of the RPM program. They are responsible for patient onboarding and patient monitoring. It’s critical that sufficient staff hours be dedicated to these activities as RPM requires daily interactions with patients. If RPM becomes yet another thing overworked staff is responsible for, you will likely not achieve the levels of patient engagement needed for a successful program.
Your RPM partner can help you determine the amount of staff time required based on your patient volume and growth goals. You can also significantly decrease this time commitment with an RPM partner who provides monitoring services.
- Front Office Staff: Admin staff can assist with numerous tasks that can reduce the work required by the clinical staff, including patient scheduling, patient consents, data entry, prepping devices, and more.
- Billing: RPM software should automatically collect the information you need for effective billing with sufficient documentation in case of an audit. However, it is ultimately up to the practice to determine what is billed for each patient, so the billing team will need to learn and understand the RPM CPT® billing codes and requirements.
At Optimize Health, we believe strongly in the power of RPM to be a critical component in improving patient outcomes while lowering costs. However, we also recognize that launching RPM can be a major undertaking and practices need to be engaged and ready to put in the work. A strong RPM partner that offers a monitoring service can dramatically streamline the time commitment, while helping you through every step of the process.
For more information about RPM, please schedule a free consultation with one of our RPM experts. We are happy to help assess if your team is ready for RPM!
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