Six Considerations for Choosing a Remote Patient Monitoring Solution
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As healthcare shifts from a fee-for-service to a value-based care approach, care delivery is shifting from an in-clinic, episodic, reactive model of care to one that is more continuous, proactive and a blend of in-clinic and remote.
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is an effective way to ensure the growing population of people with chronic conditions are getting the continuous, proactive care their condition requires. RPM refers to the use of digital technology, like connected health devices, to collect patient data remotely and securely send it to their doctors. Data continues to show that both patients and providers have an appetite for RPM.
The Public Health Emergency has accelerated adoption of platforms and devices that enable RPM programs. Moreover, industry stakeholders believe that payer coverage for RPM will continue to strengthen after the pandemic. With an influx of new RPM solutions, it's important to choose one that can support your needs beyond COVID-19. Below are six important questions and considerations to keep in mind when evaluating RPM solutions.
The RPM market is a fragmented landscape where point solutions act as independent silos. Ideally, your remote patient monitoring solution should be scalable. First, it should address all comorbidities and offer seamless or minimal expansion to adjacent or other use cases. This is critical, as you want a remote patient care solution that can span different classes of patients, both technically and medically.
Clinicians are already tasked with looking at an overwhelming amount of siloed patient data. RPM solutions will not work if they provide clinicians with more data without distilling it down to specific, actionable and personalized steps. Look for solutions that offer clinical decision support based off clinical guidelines as well as your clinic protocols, enabling more productive face-to-face visits and real-time alerts to improve patient outcomes and prevent costly interventions.
We refer to this as the "3 Rs": The Right Data at the Right Time to the Right Clinician.
In turn, you'll get the right treatment to the right patient at the right time.
Look for solutions that integrate directly with your EMR and enhance the clinical workflow rather than add to or replace it. For example, single sign-on (SSO) and two-way data exchange make integrated RPM platforms more secure, efficient and scalable within your organization. Thankfully, the 21st Century Cures Act will make data sharing and collaboration between third-party solutions and EMRs much easier.
Additionally, integration can be a barrier to adoption. Does the integration need to be customized end-to-end? Can the integration be performed minimally because multiple hooks are already available from a commercial off-the-shelf solution? Will your integration needs be never ending as the RPM solution scales across your clinical needs? Does it integrate into virtual care solutions/telemed/telehealth?
Recognizing that not all patients have internet access or smart phones, it's important to ask how data is transmitted from the patient to the provider-facing solution. Cellular-enabled devices, for example, require little patient involvement. They are secure, have a long battery life and are FDA approved.
RPM platforms that integrate with cellular-enabled devices enable data to be transmitted without complicated syncing and pairing for the patient. No phone, tethering, hub or mobile application is required.
Will your clinicians support the RPM devices and platform workflows? Who will solicit feedback and scale the solution to meet remote patient needs? Who will be the first call of support for a device at a patient's location when it is not working correctly? Will you adopt a level 1, 2 and 3 approach or a "swarming" support model and approach? Technical support, clinician support, support availability and remediation of issues are key categories to address before embarking on a remote patient care solution.
When our customers are looking at remote patient care solutions, they are approaching several hundreds if not thousands of patients. Who will kit, store, supply and deliver these RPM kits and devices? Who will provide the patient education? Will it be performed at a clinic or through a home-health nurse or aid? What happens when the remote patient no longer requires the devices? Do they dispose of them, keep them or send them back? Or does a home-health aid or nurse take possession? Who does the cleaning, and is it aligned to the FDA's guidance on reprocessing?
What do population health platforms, chronic care management and remote patient monitoring have in common? They're all meant to support care teams in delivering better patient care and ultimately better patient outcomes.
Population Health platforms tell health systems the problems they face (i.e., where they are struggling against quality metrics), but they do not necessarily tell them how to solve the problems. Chronic Care Management (CCM) was designed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide more billing options for providers caring for patients with multiple complex, chronic, comorbid conditions. But how can they better care for these complex patients without remotely monitoring them in-between visits? CMS created billing codes for RPM in part to move the needle toward this model of care.
The most powerful remote monitoring solutions will have elements of each of these and, importantly, make the information actionable.
One remote monitoring platform that stands out is Rimidi.
Built by doctors for doctors, Rimidi keeps clinical workflow top of mind. Not only does the platform seamlessly integrate with most major EHRs via SMART on FHIR, it emphasizes clinical input, allowing for composable and personalized patient targets and goals and data-driven clinical decision support.
Rimidi supports healthcare organizations in using their own clinical algorithms to be proactive in early recognition of the decompensation of various chronic diseases, thus promoting early intervention that ultimately improves outcomes, lowers the cost of care, drives patient satisfaction and improves clinician experience. This makes Rimidi an ideal virtual care partner as we see the care delivery landscape move out of the hospital and into the home.