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Multiple CPT codes for reimbursement from payors have made the viability of using remote patient monitoring devices a reality for many healthcare services. Remote patient monitoring (RPM) determines and keeps track of health-related daily tasks and metrics such as sleep cycles, blood pressure, temperature, insulin levels, heart rate, etc. See Telehealth.org’s previous article What is Remote Patient Monitoring? for more information. Clinicians and practitioners can update their techniques to make their RPM program more efficient. Here are some basics that will be integrated.
Remote Patient Monitoring Devices
Devices play a huge role in patient monitoring. They are used to keep track of patients’ and clients’ vitals via a virtual platform. When choosing the devices for your remote patient monitoring, consider these issues:
- Pick the correct device for the task: In addition to picking devices you feel are best suited to your patients or clients, you will also want to choose those supported by reliable vendors with FDA clearance if they involve diagnosis or treatment.
- Determine how the device will get to the patient or client: Will the device be handed out at the medical facility? Will it be shipped to the patient or client? Will it need to be pre-configured for use if it is being shipped? These issues can easily be overlooked, but they are essential points to consider.
- Ensure connectivity: Most RPM devices will need to be connected via WIFI. The patient or client will need to have connectivity at their home, preferably without the need to download cumbersome apps.
Data from Remote Patient Monitoring
The delivery of data is crucial in RPM applications. Here are some vital points to consider:
- Frequency: How often should the data be delivered? The frequency may vary according to the severity of the patient’s condition.
- Review: Review processes must also be considered. While reading a manual may be more thorough, it’s also more time-consuming. Therefore, you may integrate a combination of manual and automated processes.
- Liability: With a vast amount of data coming in through RPM systems, errors are likely to occur. During the onboarding process, risk and compliance teams should be brought in to make patients and clients aware of risks to lower clinician and practitioner liability.
Communication about RPM
It’s important to determine the means of communication used in your RPM program. These may include:
- Help with Implementation. It is best to arrange for your client or patient to access instructional videos or tutorials related to the device or app you are suggesting. You or your assistant may need to walk through the video with the intended user. To ensure proper use, you may need to demonstrate how to use it in one or more meetings. Be prepared to troubleshoot issues or refer to easily-understood information and technical support services. Communicate directly with the developer when needed.
- Notifications: You must decide how you will send notifications to patients regarding the latest data. They may prefer a text, a phone call, or another form of communication. You may want to alter your intake form and informed consent documents to collect this information at intake.
- Emergency Scenarios: Clients and patients should be educated on handling emergencies. You may consider setting up an emergency hotline. If their needs aren’t as urgent, it may be better to have them call the office.
- Using Bots: Bots and other automated tools can help provide care to patients without taxing a busy facility. However, you will want them to be able to detect escalating situations so they can alert clinicians and practitioners in case of an emergency.
The telehealth industry is growing in leaps and bounds. The right RPM program and techniques make virtual healthcare more comprehensive.
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