A nurse is alerted that one of her CHF patients has gained weight overnight. She’s concerned because this could mean he’s retaining water, a common symptom of heart failure. In just a few minutes, she’s able to send a message to his doctor and check in with the patient without the inefficiencies and delays of an in-person visit.
It’s all thanks to remote patient monitoring.
What Is Remote Patient Monitoring?
Remote patient monitoring allows clinicians to observe patients outside of a hospital setting by leveraging solutions and digital devices to monitor patient health. Patients report their vital signs and answer questions regarding potential symptoms of their condition from the comfort of home. This helps educate and engage patients in self-care while decreasing the cost of care for the health system and payers.
There are two main ways to do this. The first solution involves a kit that goes home with the patient and collects biometric data. The user-friendly items in this custom kit—anything from a digital thermometer to a fully-automatic blood pressure cuff—record vital signs in real-time. Information transmits to a dashboard, which is monitored by a remote and potentially distributed care team, consisting of lower licensed case managers that monitor a cohort of patients supported by a smaller number of advanced practitioners that are engaged as needed for patient interventions.
The second method is what we call BYOD—bring your own device—and it’s a lot more cost-effective. To capture vitals, the patient uses equipment they already have at home, like a thermometer, weight scale, glucometer, or SpO2 reader on their smartphone. The patient logs onto a remote patient monitoring web app on their smartphone or laptop to record their vital signs and answer the symptom checker questions. The information goes to the same dashboard and is reviewed by the same care team.
At the hospital, clinic, or clinicians’ homes, case managers review patient submissions online. This data is trended in graphs over time and provides an instant view of the patient’s health progress. Case managers are flagged when their patients’ vitals or answers to symptom questions fall outside of an expected range. Think of it as doing your rounds virtually. The case managers can also see non-compliant patients and create personal outreach to assess lack of communication while mitigating potential social determinants of health. ▾
Remote Monitoring Benefits Hospitals & Care Teams.
Many hospital systems started using remote patient monitoring because of COVID-19. It’s an ideal tool for observing infected patients who are healing at home. Physicians observe a COVID-positive patient, virtually checking oxygen levels and temperature daily, without putting hospital staff or other patients at risk of infection.
Clinicians appreciate remote patient monitoring because:
- Care teams get to serve more patients with less stress.
- Hospitals can manage larger patient populations with fewer staff members.
- Physicians are able to focus on patients who need them the most.
- Closely monitoring patients leads to improved health outcomes.
As more hospitals shift to value-based healthcare, controlling the cost of care is critical. Remote patient monitoring decreases ER visits and hospital readmissions, potentially saving the health system millions of dollars annually. You can use telemonitoring to follow patients discharged after complex or elective procedures, acute episodic illness, or treatment for a chronic disease. COVID-19 has emphasized the value of home health monitoring, but that is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the cost savings and revenue generation potential for this approach to population health management.
Remote Monitoring Benefits Patients.
Engaged patients are healthier patients. Remote monitoring empowers patients to proactively manage their health and wellness. Through instant feedback and visualization of their self-reported vital signs and symptom responses over time, patients are better informed and invested in their care and treatment.
Patients appreciate remote monitoring because:
- They avoid lengthy hospital stays.
- They can quickly and conveniently meet with care team members.
- They feel empowered to care for themselves, with the comfort of knowing a healthcare professional is monitoring their well-being.
- They don’t have to risk exposure to illness with in-person visits.
Arranging child care or missing work for follow-up visits is a significant source of stress for patients. Remote monitoring allows patients to keep close contact with their care team within the flow of their everyday lives, healing in the comfort of their own homes. It’s a win-win.
How Can ViTel Net & Advizex Help?
Remote patient monitoring may be new to you, but it’s not new to us. And Advizex is positioned to help you truly take advantage of all we have to offer.
Advizex partners with ViTel Net because they’re one of the most experienced providers of telehealth in the nation. ViTel Net has been around since 1990 and is one of the first companies to offer telehealth enabling technologies. Their focus is on supporting passionate care providers to deliver quality care to their patients across the telehealth continuum of care. Advizex has been around for over 40 years and has helped hundreds of companies expand their virtual and digital workspace capabilities. No matter where a patient needs care or where the provider is located, ViTel Net and Advizex work together to help.
If you’re interested in remote patient monitoring or other telehealth solutions, contact Advizex to set up a 30-minute discovery call. We’ll invest time to understand your current state and objectives, so you can leverage our expertise and experience to determine if telemonitoring or some other modality of remote care is a good fit for your organization.
Let us help you find the best and most affordable way to make telehealth work for you. ▪