By Daniel Frey, vice president of business development and co-founder, FieldMed.
Not every visit with a medical provider needs to happen in person. Remote patient monitoring allows for patient interaction and data collection outside of a traditional medical setting.
Through a mixture of technologies, such as health sensors, applications and video conferencing, remote patient monitoring allows healthcare professionals to streamline patient care, which is why it has become an integral part of community health programs. Remote patient monitoring helps medical professionals overcome barriers like distance, patient engagement and lost revenue that have long impacted their work.
Five Benefits of Remote Patient Monitoring
Also known as “telehealth monitoring,” remote patient monitoring has many benefits, including improved access to medical care providers, reduced drain on the healthcare system, better patient outcomes, patient empowerment and accountability, and increased revenue.
- Improved Access To Medical Care Providers
Remote patient monitoring brings medical professionals to a patient — even if they’re located hundreds of miles apart. In other words, distance is no longer a factor in a patient’s treatment.
Under the community health program model, participating medical service providers from all disciplines are brought together to respond to patient needs. If monitoring mechanisms indicate a change in a patient’s condition, the appropriate healthcare professional responds to their case. This reduces the number of stops on a patient’s care journey to connect with the right care provider.
- Reduced Drain On the Healthcare System
Remote patient monitoring keeps patients in their homes while receiving medical care. This is extremely important for those with compromised immunity or those who are in the beginning stages of recuperating from surgery. Their chances of contracting an infection from another person — be it a doctor, nurse, or patient — are eliminated.
Telehealth monitoring also stops unnecessary and costly trips to emergency rooms. Patients experiencing non-emergency conditions are able to skip the trip to an ER. Instead, they connect with an appropriately qualified medical professional for evaluation and care, leaving ER staff ready for true emergencies.
The same can be said for routine screenings and checkups. Patients no longer need to be in the same space for standard medical evaluations, making doctors and nurses more available to those with pressing conditions. With fewer patients filling waiting rooms, medical care providers are less overwhelmed and can deliver higher-quality care.
- Better Patient Outcomes
Telehealth monitoring tracks patient progress in real-time. This invaluable data is stored and is easily accessible, allowing medical providers to make more informed decisions on treatment. Patients with chronic conditions or requiring regular check-ins interact with a medical professional more frequently.
This regular and almost immediate patient interaction also serves another purpose. Medical professionals may identify and treat a small change in a patient’s overall health before it becomes a bigger issue. On the same token, medical caregivers can identify other barriers to a patient’s wellness, such as their mental state or other conditions.
- Patient Empowerment and Accountability
As data is tracked, remote patient monitoring allows medical professionals to identify shortcomings in a patient’s personal responsibilities to their wellness. For instance, a patient may choose to forego doctor’s orders, not take medication as prescribed, or continue an unhealthy diet. Data collected through telehealth monitoring shows the impact of these decisions. Qualified healthcare professionals are able to provide encouragement to patients to follow doctor’s orders or explore other treatment options.
This interaction can build rapport between a patient and medical care provider, making them partners in a patient’s health plan.
- Increased Revenue
According to the Health Financial Management Association, approximately 1% of net patient revenue is lost due to charge capture errors, which results in healthcare systems losing millions of dollars annually.
Through telehealth monitoring apps, patient services are captured at the point of delivery. This means, medical professionals no longer need to worry about logging all the billable details of an interaction with a patient, making remote patient monitoring reimbursement more streamlined.
As an added benefit, when it comes time to bill for medical services, the information is immediately available in the correct format. This increases billing efficiency and reduces the chance of lost revenue for medical service providers.
Remote Patient Monitoring: Improve Efficiencies = Healthier Communities
As technology continues to improve, remote patient monitoring is poised to play a much bigger role in patient care. Through its efficiencies and data collection, medical professionals can focus more on their primary job: helping patients get well.