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How Does Remote Patient Monitoring Help Bridge Care Gaps Across Care Settings?

Written by: Michael Fragala, PhD, MBA, RN, WCC, CSPHP, AMS

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) has quickly become one of the more popular options for improving health outcomes and providing ongoing medical care. Even before telehealth adoption skyrocketed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, wearable devices were growing in value and use.

Still, many patients and providers view remote patient monitoring and connected medical equipment as somewhat of an accessory. Many see it as a feature of their care, but not something that can really influence care in and of itself.

This skepticism is understandable given the criticality of healthcare relationships. Providers and patients alike are naturally going to value hands-on interactions above all else. However, there are a number of care settings where RPM can create positive experiences, improve care, maximize care staff effectiveness while addressing patient concerns.

By exploring what RPM has to offer and carefully considering how wearable technology can be effective for different types of patients, it’s easy to see the value for a wider variety of care needs and patient-based goals.

[FREE DOWNLOAD] The State of Remote Patient Monitoring in 2022

What Does Remote Patient Monitoring Offer?

Remote patient monitoring, also known as remote physiologic monitoring, offers something that no other type of medical care can provide. It lets patients and their medical providers see what’s going on with their health in real time regardless of where the patient is located. Wearable devices record and store data that can be transmitted from the patient to the provider, allowing physicians and clinicians to see whether the patient is doing well or whether they need to adjust the care regimen.

From fitness trackers that count steps to the ability to take an EKG with a smartphone, there are many kinds of RPM. Some are more effective and accurate than others. Medical-grade devices, for example, offer clinical accuracy that is not available with consumer-grade health electronics and help clinical staff and patients monitor a multitude of physiological signs more accurately and work together to improve outcomes and identify care gaps.

Most notably, remote patient monitoring introduces a level of adaptability. Thanks to RPM’s focus on real-time data, providers have the opportunity to catch potential problems early on and intervene more quickly.

But, some patients need a stronger focus on physiologic monitoring than others do, and that’s where care settings come into play.

RPM for Skilled Nursing Facilities

In the skilled nursing setting, there are often a high volume of patients for the number of nurses caring for them. That can be frustrating for the medical staff and patients alike. Not only may certain tasks get overlooked — such as routine vitals checks — but it can also lead to burnout over time.

With remote patient monitoring, it’s easier for medical staff to keep track of their patients, so they maintain a high standard of care and address any issues quickly. It’s like having extra nurses on duty, monitoring the health of skilled nursing patients.

Patients in skilled nursing facilities often have chronic conditions that can cause serious problems when not treated properly. These issues can compound with other problems, and make it complicated for the patients and the medical professionals. Using remote patient monitoring in skilled nursing units provides more support for the nurses and staff, as well as a higher level of peace of mind for the patients.

RPM in Long-Term Acute Care

Long-term acute care is another area where RPM and medical-grade wearable devices can be extremely valuable. Patients in these facilities may be there for some time, and they may need significant levels of care for weeks, months, or even years. In order to track how they’re doing and whether their condition is improving, ongoing assessment is required.

While monitoring in this case often needs to be done by a medical professional due to its chronic nature, there are metrics that can be tracked through the use of connected medical devices. As a result, when patients and their providers are better able to manage chronic conditions, then patients can achieve a better outcome and quality of life.

The Right Wearables Make the Difference

When choosing durable medical equipment, it is extremely important to ensure that patients and medical professionals are choosing accuracy and reliability.

With the Joerns and BioIntelliSense™ BioSuite of Remote Physiologic Monitoring, it’s easier than ever before to monitor patients in skilled nursing and long-term acute care facilities, as well as other care settings. Contact us to learn more.

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