Improving patient outcomes is and has always been an ongoing goal for health care providers. However, the shift from a fee-for-service to a value-based care model has sparked a change in how health care providers approach this objective.

First, under value-based care health care providers are reimbursed for services based on patient outcomes, as opposed to a traditional care model where reimbursement depends on the amount of services delivered.

Second, the value-based care model offers financial incentives to push hospitals to prioritize improving patient safety and quality of care. In that same vein, hospitals can be penalized for failing to meet performance metrics like reducing readmission rates.

This change compels providers to consider a very important question. How do you rethink the way health care is delivered so you can adhere to a value-based care model, secure reimbursement, and improve patient outcomes?

How Telehealth Works Hand-in-Hand With Value-Based Care—5 Tips for Success

Telehealth and remote patient monitoring are innovative solutions that can help drive success for a value-based care model. Here are five ways to improve patient outcomes with a telehealth program.

1. Focus on patient education

Telehealth can enhance your current patient education delivery as it overcomes the common barriers associated with an in-person model, such as time, distance, and cost. For patients with chronic conditions, this could make a significant difference. A systematic review examining the efficacy of virtually-delivered patient education revealed several key highlights:

  • Patients with diabetes who received virtual education demonstrated marked improvements in fasting blood sugar, three-month average glucose control, and post-prandial glucose levels.
  • There were significant improvements (or comparable results) between virtual education and control groups when tested on patient knowledge.
  • Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) who received virtual education required fewer visits to outpatient facilities.

Education can be easily delivered throughout a patient’s episode of care via teach-back quizzes and informational videos tailored to each patient’s diagnosis, treatment, or medication. Health providers can keep track of the patient’s completed modules and review the content with them during virtual home visits. 

HRS offers a virtual patient installation service, PatientDirect+, that prioritizes patient education and engagement at the start of care, beginning with the installation of the telehealth and RPM platform in the patient’s home. Enrollment and setup is effective and seamless, as HRS’ team of engagement specialists handles the entire logistics and inventory management process so patients can get started with the telehealth program quickly, resulting in better outcomes and higher ROI.

2. Work with caregivers

There are over 90 million Americans who provide care for patients that are of advanced age or living with chronic conditions, disabilities, or disease. The majority of these caregivers are usually family members caring for their loved ones. Research studying the relationship between caregivers and improved patient outcomes reveal that coordination with care providers is instrumental in ensuring success, with results like: 

  • Significant improvement of patient outcomes when a caregiver is involved in condition and treatment education and practical condition-management support.
  • Positive outcomes for patients especially in freedom from pain, functional status, and mental health when caregivers are prepared to provide care.
  • Reduced risk of readmissions for elderlies that have their caregivers as a part of the discharge process.

Telehealth platforms provide caregivers with patient information and an additional channel for communication and monitoring. Take CaregiverConnect® (HRS’ solution for integrating caregivers into the formal care process), for example: the application allows caregivers to monitor patient vitals including access to view patient adherence for each metric, as well as video and chat functionality.

3. Don't let care end at the hospital door

The care transition period is as crucial as the patient care process. In fact, a study suggested that instead of separating prior- and post-admission into different stages, health care providers should integrate both as part of a continuous healthcare program. This ensures that the patient is sufficiently cared for at all stages and prevents issues with poor care transitions like readmissions, increased health costs, and adverse patient outcomes.

  • The same study revealed that patients enrolled in a telehealth program as part of care transition found the intervention valuable and remote patient monitoring particularly useful.
  • Researchers in Denmark studied the use of telehealth for facilitating care transitions in neonatal care and found that it increased parental self-efficacy and breastfeeding rates, which could positively influence newborn health for the long term.
Transition care doctors or nurses can make use of video call and chat functions to communicate and stay connected with patients. This cuts down the time and costs associated with in-person visits, and also minimizes transfer-associated risks.

4. Improve clinician workflows

The quality of care a patient receives is linked to several factors, some of which include healthcare infrastructure and resources, clinician satisfaction, and patient engagement. Ensuring best patient outcomes require a good balance of these elements.

  • A report by the National Academy of Medicine shared that administrative duties and tasks that do not improve patient care often occupy a clinician’s time and affect their ability to provide quality care.
  • The same report highlighted that a positive work environment is instrumental in improving population health, job satisfaction, and social support.
With a telehealth platform, once-manual processes that require a lot of time or an in-person visit are now streamlined with technology, so the focus for clinicians is on providing excellent patient care. Clinicians can monitor their patients’ health status in real time and communicate with them about their symptoms, medication adherence, and concerns.

5. Use technology for risk monitoring

Collecting and analyzing patient data is key to better addressing patients and improving outcomes. A Health IT Analytics interview with Cerner brought the importance of technology and data to the forefront, specifically in giving providers the best possible insights to consistently make informed decisions for their patients.

  • A control trial in 2017 of 124 participants found that telehealth with remote monitoring allowed for earlier detection and significant reduction of hospital readmission among postpartum patients with hypertension.
  • In a landmark study in routine cancer care out of Memorial Sloan Kettering, early interventions utilizing remote symptom monitoring resulted in improvement in quality-of-life scores, fewer visits to the emergency department, longer durations of chemotherapy treatment, and 20% longer median overall survival.
Health care providers could make use of telehealth solutions incorporating predictive analytics that will identify patients who are at-risk for adverse events. Clinicians can gain a snapshot view of all patients and triage by risk so they can proactively provide optimal care delivery and planning.

See How Our Telehealth and RPM Solutions Can Help You Improve Patient Outcomes

A comprehensive telehealth and RPM solution can help health care providers achieve organizational goals with continuous monitoring and real-time interventions. Learn more about how a telehealth solution can help your organization improve patient outcomes and align with population health initiatives.

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