Integrating remote patient monitoring (RPM) data into a member’s care profile can help healthcare organizations further shift from a reactive to a proactive care model.
A few RPM data feeds to consider include smartwatches, pulse oximeters, glucose monitors, blood pressure monitors, and fall detectors. These mobile devices capture clinical data in real time that can alert care teams to a need for preventive action or immediate care.
Here we explore why RPM data is integral to value-based care, and five ways RPM data can empower care management teams to drive better health outcomes and close care gaps faster.
Why is Remote Patient Monitoring Important?
The main benefit of RPM data integration within a care management solution is that it can provide a more accurate view of patients and enable proactive, preventive intervention. As a result, RPM data can help care teams to prevent the worsening or development of chronic complex issues, or serious injuries and illness that may result in hospital admissions.
A 2017 U.S. Government Accountability Office study found that providers and patients both reported RPM as a factor that significantly improved or maintained the quality of care, and evidence from several other studies shows that using RPM can result in a host of benefits, including:
- Lower mortality rates
- Fewer hospitalizations
- Increased patient satisfaction
- Improved patient adherence to care plan
Moreover, integrating RPM data feeds into a medical management platform offers several advantages to healthcare payers handling population health needs for a variety of groups. To list three:
- The entire care team can seamlessly access member RPM data, without workflow interruptions.
- Automations can trigger alerts to care team members for out-of-range or otherwise concerning values.
- Analytics can be applied to guide faster and more precise decision-making regarding a member’s care.
5 Ways Healthcare Payers and Care Staff Can Leverage RPM Data
1. Improve communication and relationships with members
RPM data gives care managers a daily view of some key health status indicators that they wouldn’t otherwise have immediate access to in between face-to-face interactions or when patients see providers.
RPM data helps care managers know when intervention is needed. For example, coaching on lifestyle modification or medication usage, providing education, or involving another care team member.
With daily insights into a member’s health, care managers can better determine when more outreach, preventive action or one-on-one time is needed. As a result, communication and relationships with members are improved and strengthened.
2. Provide more personalized, impactful care plans
RPM data can also identify patterns and trends that can help better guide how care plans are tailored.
RPM data helps track changes that indicate that a member may need further health education or an adjustment to their plan. For example, a diabetic member experiences a pattern of late-morning drops in blood sugar. This trend alerts the care team staff to investigate and coordinate with the healthcare provider to determine whether an adjustment to the timing or dosage of insulin is needed and consider an individualized meal plan aimed at maintaining blood sugar levels.
3. Motivate members to engage in their health
If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. This axiom, a favorite in the business world, also applies to engaging members in their treatment plans. Integrating RPM data can help give members better insights into their health in a way that’s easy to understand. Specifically, member views that integrate RPM data can help members to measure progress and identify when it’s time to seek a provider’s help. In turn, members feel motivated and in control of their health.
RPM data also functions as a feedback loop for members with chronic conditions that depend heavily on behaviors and lifestyles.
Care managers can also use RPM data to help with goal setting, and coaching, and to provide encouragement.
4. Increase medication adherence
RPM data may also be helpful in improving medication adherence.
For example, a care manager notes an increase in blood pressure occurring consistently in the early evenings for a member with chronic heart disease – the time of day that person takes several medications. The care manager can then investigate whether the member is taking his medication, needs a dose adjustment, additional education on proper administration techniques, or something else and take the next steps accordingly.
5. Strengthen care coordination
The complexity of managing members with one or more chronic conditions requires a collaborative approach to care coordination.
RPM can help care managers better facilitate care coordination across care settings, such as hospitals, clinics, specialty providers, home health agencies, and skilled nursing facilities.
When RPM data is integrated within the platform as part of the member’s view, it can be shared in real-time across settings to give care providers a unified view of the patient’s most recent health status, leading to better coordination and continuity of care.
RPM data comes from a variety of sources, and when paired with a member’s view, can help care management teams to improve the quality of care for members with more accurate and effective outreach and initiatives.