Teladoc Health to acquire InTouch Health. Learn more.

Understanding the Value of Remote Patient Monitoring

Why More Hospitals and Health Systems Are Investing in RPM

Remote patient monitoring (RPM), or monitoring the health of a patient from a remote location, is changing the way providers think about healthcare. Using a range of wearable devices and live video and audio, providers can use this technology to ensure their patients are adhering to prescribed treatment methods and recovering as planned. Studies have shown RPM can improve patient outcomes for those suffering from a chronic condition or illness and those recovering from surgery. 

According to a recent study from Spyglass Consulting Group, 88% of hospitals and health systems surveyed have invested or plan to invest in remote patient monitoring to help providers manage the health of high-risk patients, including those who are considered unstable and at-risk for hospital readmissions or unexpected emergency department visits. Reducing readmission rates and ER visits reduces the cost of care and improves efficiency.

What Is Remote Patient Monitoring?

If a patient has a chronic condition, such as diabetes, heart disease, or liver disease, providers need to make sure their patients are stable and staying healthy. They can use live video and audio and wearable devices like heart monitors, ankle bracelets, and blood sugar monitors to monitor and record a patient’s health status from a remote location. If something goes wrong, the patient forgets to take their medication, or they have a question about their health, they can quickly consult with their care provider for more information. 

Providers can use this technology to address and resolve potential health concerns before they develop into more serious issues, especially when it comes to monitoring the health of high-risk patients. Providers don’t have to wait to see the patient in person—rather, all of the patient’s health data such as heart rate, body weight, and blood sugar levels, is transmitted wirelessly to the care provider so they can monitor it throughout the day.

The Benefits of Remote Patient Monitoring

While remote patient monitoring can’t replace in-person care entirely, it can ease the burden placed on both providers and patients. Providers can review important health information on their own schedule while keeping high-risk patients out of the ER. Patients won’t have to make as many trips to the doctor’s office or hospital, helping them stay at home where they feel more comfortable, especially if the person has trouble moving around or securing transportation to and from medical appointments. 

Providers can use remote patient monitoring to improve medication adherence and make sure patients are maintaining a balanced diet, getting plenty of exercise, and avoiding negative habits that can worsen their chronic condition. By monitoring the health of their patients in real-time, providers can better prevent costly health emergencies and improve patient outcomes. 

For healthcare facilities, remote patient monitoring keeps high-risk patients at home, so they don’t take up beds and other healthcare resources, thus making more room for new patients. Reducing hospital readmission rates and improving patient outcomes can also increase Medicare reimbursement rates and help facilities improve their reputations among consumers and the healthcare industry at large. 

With the cost of healthcare on the rise, facilities need to use their resources wisely. Readmitting the same chronically ill patients will quickly drain a facility’s resources, resulting in diminishing profits. This can lead to fewer care services, staff layoffs, and reduced access to healthcare.

133 million Americans have at least one chronic condition. As our older generation continues to retire, the need for RPM will only increase in the years to come. Elderly patients are more likely to have chronic conditions than the general public. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in the U.S. alone, chronic diseases account for nearly 75% of all healthcare spending, which equates to around $5,300 per person a year.

Providers should consider implementing this technology to reduce costs and improve patient outcomes. Chronically ill patients shouldn’t need to visit their care provider in-person to receive a high-quality checkup. RPM is unlocking new possibilities when it comes to caring for patients with chronic conditions. Visit InTouch Health to learn more about implementing RPM at your healthcare facility.