Remote patient monitoring, frequently called RPM, is a type of remote care program that uses connected devices to monitor your patients’ health between office visits.
Patients use devices like blood pressure monitors, blood glucose monitors, weight scales, and more to measure their vital signs each day, and those results are automatically synced into their provider’s software platform. RPM is typically used to monitor chronic conditions such as hypertension, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, prediabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and more.
With real-time and additional data on your patient’s health, your practice has the opportunity to provide preventative, patient-centered care that drives proactive interventions, improved outcomes, and higher patient engagement.
Getting Started with RPM
RPM starts with an order from one of your physicians or qualified healthcare professionals to enroll the patient in RPM. After the patient provides their consent to participate in the program, you provide the patient with a connected device, such as a blood pressure monitor, glucometer, weight scale, or other device for them to take their readings at home. We recommend an onboarding appointment, where the patient learns how to use the device as well as expectations of the RPM program, including ongoing communication with a monitoring clinician.
Once the patient begins to take their readings with their device, that data is securely and automatically transmitted to your practice’s RPM platform. Clinicians or care team members (from your practice or RPM partner) monitor each patient’s data, assess their readings, observe any trends, manage patient care plans, and intervene and escalate as needed.
Common Conditions Monitored with RPM
While RPM can be used to monitor a variety of conditions, it’s most frequently used to support patients with common chronic conditions including:
- Hypertension: The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that all people with hypertension take their blood pressure every day. RPM with a connected blood pressure monitor can replace a paper journal, encourage more readings, and provide active health coaching.
- Heart Failure: Heart failure patients should monitor their blood pressure and can also use a weight scale, to detect fluid retention which is an early sign of a heart failure exacerbation.
- COPD and Lung Diseases: A pulse oximeter can be used to measure blood oxygen levels and detect early exacerbations of COPD and lung disease.
- Diabetes: RPM with a connected glucometer provides a complete feedback loop for diabetes patients to work with a health coach and understand the impact of their daily activities on their A1C level. A weight scale can also be used to help patients with diabetes or pre-diabetes lose weight and reduce risk of more severe diabetes outcomes.
- Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD): Connected blood pressure monitors and glucometers are frequently used for CKD patients that also have hypertension and/or diabetes. In addition, a weight scale can be used to detect fluid retention, an early sign of worsening kidney failure.
Benefits of RPM
RPM provides real-time visibility on a patient’s health outside of regular office visits, allowing you and your care team to proactively intervene before an adverse event can take place. By using real-time data to prevent critical events, patients benefit from preventative care, and practices are able to provide patient-centered care at a lower cost, delivering both clinical and financial benefits for patients and practices.
Clinical studies demonstrate remote patient monitoring reduces hospital admissions, emergency room visits, and mortality rates. Research also shows that patients in RPM programs can significantly improve the physiological parameters that they are measuring, such as blood pressure or A1C, and avoid emergency room visits and hospital admissions.
For practices, RPM helps providers access real-time patient health data to help patients with chronic conditions and their health each day, rather than relying on office visits alone. In addition, your practice gets reimbursed for the additional preventative care and communications that you provide to patients enrolled in RPM. RPM can also be billed in conjunction with chronic care management (CCM).
RPM programs empower patients to take an active role in improving their health by actively involving them in their health each day. By allowing patients and your monitoring staff to stay connected and communicate more regularly, RPM helps strengthen the patient-provider relationship and support patients more consistently in improving their health.
Succeeding with RPM
A good RPM solution will have solutions and services to help you successfully launch (or re-launch) an RPM program that is tailored to your goals and practice.
Key services include patient identification and onboarding and ongoing clinical monitoring to help you identify the patients who would be good candidates for RPM, as well provide clinically-driven monitoring solutions. Optimize Health offers a full-suite of Managed Services to support clients at every stage of their RPM program, including patient identification, eligibility verification, collecting consent, shipping devices, and remote or in-person patient onboarding services.
Ready to Learn More about RPM?
RPM can improve clinical outcomes, strengthen your relationships with patients, and increase practice reimbursement. If you are ready to learn more, our free Guide to Creating an Effective Remote Patient Monitoring Program can help. Or set up a call with one of RPM experts to see if RPM is right for your practice.
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