The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed health care delivery in the United States — and in some unexpected ways. We all know the devastating impact on hospitals, clinical and administrative staff and the general public. However, some innovative options and technologies rose from dire circumstances. Remote patient monitoring (RPM) increased and proved the viability of telehealth.
RPM impact on chronic disease management
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 60% of Americans suffer from one or more chronic diseases, and 40% have two or more.1 Many have difficulty managing their conditions or finding transportation for doctor visits. Through an RPM program, these patients become more engaged and participate in their own care.
The appropriate home monitoring equipment records and sends biometrics such as blood glucose levels, heart rate, and more to the patient’s provider or health care organization. Clinicians monitor the data and intervene virtually at the first sign of an issue.
Compelling benefits of RPM program
- Reduced costs related to readmissions, including penalties. One Midwest provider implemented an RPM program tailored to specific patients. The program reduced 30-day readmissions by half, for $500,000 in cost savings.2
- Better chronic disease preventative management through regular or continuous monitoring and clinical intervention can help decrease the risk for cardiovascular, neurological and renal conditions. An RPM program can be as effective as in-hospital care for exacerbated conditions, as well as long-term chronic conditions.3
- Fewer readmissions and emergency department visits for monitored patients whose chronic conditions are better controlled. Those patients also have a lower risk of requiring a subsequent long-term care admission.4
- Improved access to care and better health outcomes for rural patients. Those without easy access to care are more to experience negative outcomes from conditions that could be better managed if an RPM program were available.5
- Shorter hospital stays for patients who can be discharged with a remote monitoring device to use at home. One early study showed that hospital-at-home care resulted in shorter lengths of stay — 3.2 days versus 4.9 days — and fewer complications.6
- Increased hospital capacity for more severely ill patients. With many hospitals at full capacity during surges of COVID-19, treating patients at home through RPM offered a viable way to free up beds. An RPM program may still relieve capacity and staffing shortages.
- Removal of transportation barriers for those who have difficulty traveling to get care from a health care provider. The American Hospital Association says 3.6 million people in the U.S. do not obtain medical care due to transportation barriers. Issues include lack of access to vehicles, broken infrastructure, long distances, lengthy times to reach services and transportation costs.7
- Less stress and anxiety for the patient being treated in the least restrictive environment. A 2021 study found that patients who received hospital-at-home interventions had lower depression and anxiety than those receiving in-hospital care.8
People with diabetes who received care through RPM and telehealth during the pandemic saw their A1C levels drop by 2.2% after six months.9
How Conduit can help RPM
Conduit Health Partners offers clinical operation services to manage RPM solutions selected by our client. We also have the expertise needed to successfully engage with our partners to develop a turn-key RPM solution. Our virtual nurses help you monitor and care for your patients.
Our service includes:
- Around-the-clock coverage for biometric monitoring and alert management
- Clinical intervention and escalation as defined by your organization
- Patient engagement and education
Our RPM program helps mitigate unnecessary emergency department visits and reduce hospital admissions or readmissions. Your patients will gain greater control of their health and well-being as we all work together to promote the best health outcomes. Connect with us to learn more.
1 Chronic Diseases in America | CDC. Last reviewed May 6, 2022.
2 Deaconess Health Finds Success in Tailoring Telehealth to Specific Patients (mhealthintelligence.com) April 12, 2021.
3 RPM 101: What Is Remote Patient Monitoring, Its Benefits, and Uses? (mhealthintelligence.com). February 2, 2022
4 Hospital-at-Home Interventions vs In-Hospital Stay for Patients With Chronic Disease Who Present to the Emergency Department: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis | Emergency Medicine | JAMA Network Open | JAMA Network. June 8, 2021.
5 Telehealth in Rural Communities | CDC. Accessed June 22, 2022.
6 Hospital at home: feasibility and outcomes of a program to provide hospital-level care at home for acutely ill older patients – PubMed (nih.gov). December 6, 2005.
7 Social Determinants of Health Series: Transportation and the Role of Hospitals | AHA. Accessed June 22, 2022.
8 Hospital-at-Home Interventions vs In-Hospital Stay for Patients With Chronic Disease Who Present to the Emergency Department: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis | Emergency Medicine | JAMA Network Open | JAMA Network. June 8, 2021.
9 Remote Patient Monitoring Improves Type 2 Diabetes Outcomes (mhealthintelligence.com). October 14, 2021.