Healthcare technology has become more critical in recent years, particularly as the COVID-19 pandemic has made it necessary to implement new care strategies for everyone’s safety and well-being. Virtual options, including telehealth and remote monitoring, are growing trends in innovative primary care.
Just as the most useful and effective electronic health record (EHR) systems are scalable, so are remote patient monitoring solutions. The EHR developer who focuses on the connectivity and interoperability of each of these healthcare tools will be able to offer the quality technology that independent primary care practices need in today’s digital world.
Remote patient monitoring has been shown as helpful in managing chronic conditions, engaging rural patients, and providing personalized and equitable healthcare across the provider’s patient panel. The ability to collect measurements such as blood pressure, heart rate, and activity levels can mean the difference in patient outcomes. Providers can monitor patient data between visits or in preparation for telehealth visits.
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Many third-party payers, including Medicare, are recognizing the value of remote patient monitoring. Medicare reimburses RPM services just like in-person clinical services with no additional requirements. Improvements in the technology and pandemic-related shifts in care delivery modes have enabled patients to get the quality care they need from the comfort and safety of their own homes.
Remote patient monitoring enables the provider to gather, record, and monitor crucial patient health data. The physician can analyze the data for assessment and decision making, virtually and in real time. The use of remote patient monitoring tools has been shown to improve the patient’s quality of life as it is a cost-effective approach that reduces the potential for hospitalization. The technology also increases the provider’s efficiency and effectiveness.
Examples of remote health monitoring devices include:
- Continuous glucose monitors that remind patients with diabetes to take their insulin while the physician is also able to monitor the disease in the patient
- Digital blood pressure monitors that send data to the provider
- Blood oxygen level monitors that send the patient’s information to their primary care physician.
Though remote patient monitoring technology is useful for patients in remote or rural areas, it can also be quite beneficial for patients who need consistent monitoring or who may not need multiple in-person visits other than to have their vitals checked regularly. Remote patient monitoring systems can prevent more severe and costly health outcomes as the provider is continually receiving the pertinent information regarding the patient’s current condition.
In particular, elderly patients can benefit from the remote patient monitoring technology as that patient population tends to have a higher incidence of multiple chronic diseases. A KLAS Research report found that 38% of healthcare organizations running remote patient monitoring programs focused on chronic care management reported reduced hospital admissions, while 17% cited cost reductions.
For the EHR developer that builds out interoperable medical records systems, the use of remote monitoring and artificial intelligence will become a critical trend in reducing healthcare errors and in reducing the gap between provider and patient, improving patient outcomes and the patient-provider relationship.