As more and more healthcare providers adopt telehealth, remote patient monitoring (RPM) has become a widely accepted form of healthcare delivery, with the global remote patient monitoring systems industry set to reach $1.7 billion by 2027. If you want to learn more about remote patient monitoring, its benefits, and how it works, read on below.
Definition of Remote Patient Monitoring
Remote patient monitoring, also known as remote physiologic monitoring or RPM, is a method of healthcare delivery that collects patient data outside of traditional healthcare settings using advances in information technology.
Remote patient monitoring allows healthcare providers to manage acute and chronic conditions while also lowering patient travel costs and infection risk. Furthermore, RPM helps to promote patient-provider communication and improve patient self-management, thus leading to better health outcomes.
Difference between RPM, Telehealth, Telemedicine, and Patient Monitoring
RPM, telehealth, telemedicine, patient monitoring—the multitude of terms surrounding the telehealth and RPM industry can be a common source of confusion.
So, to help clarify:
Telehealth refers to technologies and services that provide patient care and health services over long distances. Telehealth encompasses services such as telemedicine and remote patient monitoring.
Telemedicine is a form of telehealth which defines itself as the service of practicing medicine at a distance. Services such as virtual visits, medication management, consultation and chronic disease management all fall under telemedicine.
Remote Patient Monitoring is the use of a device that allows a healthcare provider to monitor a patient’s condition and interact with them outside of healthcare facilities. RPM falls under the telehealth umbrella but is not part of telemedicine.
Patient Monitoring is the deployment of monitoring equipment in a controlled environment, such as a hospital or clinic. This is in contrast to remote patient monitoring, in which the monitoring equipment is usually deployed in a patient’s home.
How Does RPM Work?
While RPM services may vary given the devices and software being used, the primary technologies behind RPM are functionally the same. RPM uses wireless sensors that measure a specific aspect of a patient’s vitals and health condition.
The collected data is stored and sent to the provider’s central database after being sent from the patient to the provider’s corresponding RPM platforms. RPM platforms allow providers to collected pertinent patient data, analyze that data, and offer treatment recommendations.
Benefits Of RPM
Using technology to consistently monitor and collect patient data outside a traditional healthcare setting is a distinct advantage of remote patient monitoring. This explains why RPM provides numerous benefits to patients, providers, caregivers, and healthcare organizations.
Some of the more notable benefits of RPM services in healthcare include:
- Improved patient self-management and care plan/medication-adherence
- Lowered costs for patients and providers
- Improved access to healthcare
- Enhanced patient engagement
- Optimized staff efficiency
- Reduced effects of clinical staff shortages
- Minimized the spread of hospital-acquired infections
- Improved patient experience and satisfaction
- Enhanced clinical-patient relationships
RPM devices are the primary tools that enable healthcare providers to monitor, report, and analyze their patients’ conditions while not in a hospital or clinic. RPM devices give providers real-time updates on their patients’ status, allowing them to make proactive clinical decisions.
RPM devices also enable telehealth patients to engage with and better understand their health status daily, resulting in positive and longer-lasting health outcomes.
Some examples of RPM devices include:
- Blood Pressure Cuffs
- Pulse Oximeter
- ECG + Stethoscope
- Wearable Activity Tracks and Monitors
The topic of reimbursement is frequently brought up in RPM discussions and articles, and a better understanding of the RPM reimbursement system may encourage healthcare providers to implement an RPM program sooner rather than later.
In brief, RPM services are billable through Medicare and through partnerships with private insurers. The reimbursement is earned by correctly coding your RPM services using the RPM-assigned CPT codes.
CMS RPM reimbursement and telehealth reimbursement can be difficult to navigate, so do consult our RPM Reimbursement FAQ page for more information.
How HRS Telehealth and RPM Solutions Benefits Patients
For healthcare providers to start offering RPM services, they must determine the service coverage, establish a patient base, select which RPM device(s) to use, set up a patient intake program, develop policies and procedures, and train staff.
By partnering with HRS, you can help to streamline the telehealth and RPM implementation process, allowing your healthcare facility to start your program as soon as possible.
Join the growing number of healthcare providers deploying HRS solutions to improve patient health, increase patient satisfaction, and reduce healthcare costs. Discover how our telehealth solutions can help your organization reduce costs and enhance your healthcare quality today.