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The Benefits of Remote Patient Monitoring

elderly woman using remote patient monitoring device at home

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In a hospital or clinic, it’s incredibly easy to keep tabs on patients’ vitals; all of the necessary equipment is within arm’s reach. But what about everyone else who receives medical support at home? All of a sudden, these routine tasks become much more complicated.

Enter remote patient monitoring, or RPM for short. The home care industry is in the thick of a technological revolution, and RPM is one of the most promising frontiers. Devices like glucose monitors and wearable ECGs can collect health information as patients go about their days and send it directly to doctors and caregivers.

Agencies are seeing the potential, too: according to a third-party home care industry survey commissioned by AxisCare, 56% of respondents viewed RPM as an important piece of technology for enhancing the quality and delivery of care. Another 49% expected tablet-based communication to improve in-home care services as well. Here are our predictions about how this budding approach will be making waves.

1. Increased Home Care Efficiency

RPM devices communicate critical health information in real-time, making it easy for caregivers to view accurate data as soon as it becomes available. In contrast, collecting this same information at the point of care would involve commuting to the patient’s home and conducting tests on-site, potentially adding hours to the process.

Using RPM to Address Staff Shortages

Due to persistent caregiver shortages, agencies must be extremely careful about their human resource allocation. RPM can alleviate the burden of in-person visits by allowing practitioners to conduct virtual visits with patients, freeing up valuable time and scheduling availability. What’s more, reducing the amount of time spent on the road can help alleviate feelings of burnout, which is another rampant issue among the caregiving population.

2. Providing Better Access to Patient Data

Accurate data collection used to demand lots of time and effort, but RPM has made it seamless to compile and share information. Practitioners of all kinds should be able to consult patient data at any time, no matter where they are, and have the option to share that information around whenever necessary. It’s the only way to enable truly consistent and continuous care.

Bonus benefits:

  • Automated data collection reduces the risk of human error associated with manual data entry, leading to more accurate and reliable health records.
  • Continuous monitoring can help detect potential issues before they worsen, allowing for earlier intervention and better health outcomes.

3. Improved Communication With Patients & Caregivers

RPM also allows for constant communication between caregivers and patients, which allows healthcare professionals to make quicker progress and provide more complete information. On the other hand, it gives patients peace of mind while making them feel more involved with their own care.

Bonus benefits:

  • Healthcare practitioners can customize care plans on the fly based on the feedback they receive from patients and families.
  • Quick communication allows for rapid identification and resolution of issues, preventing minor problems from escalating and potentially reducing hospital readmissions.

4. Cost Effectiveness

By reducing the need for in-person visits, RPM frees up precious time on caregivers’ schedules. That means less overtime pay coming out of agencies’ pockets and greater flexibility when it comes to resource optimization. What’s more, RPM cuts down on travel costs like gas and car insurance, and wear and tear.

Bonus benefits:

  • Remote monitoring can pave the way for healthcare agencies to scale their operations more easily without the need for proportional increases in staff or physical resources.
  • RPM allows caregivers to expand their pool of potential patients by reaching people in rural or underserved areas without the need for extensive travel.

5. Better Access to Specialty Care

When complex patient needs come up, it’s not always possible for local services to meet those demands. Technology in home care can virtually connect patients to specialists across the country, allowing them to receive more specialized care either from the comfort of home or their local hospital.

The Role of Remote Patient Monitoring in Home Care

The entire goal of home care is to limit the amount of time that patients spend in the hospital. Sometimes, it’s inevitable – but many agencies don’t have the systems in place to reduce readmissions at scale. 

Assisting Hands Home Care used to be one of those agencies, until they implemented AxisCare’s Hospitalization Tracking tool. With our help, they reduced hospital readmissions to well below the national average – which currently stands at 16% – to less than 2%. How did they do it?

  • Launched an initiative to provide clients and families with education to minimize incidents, including home safety and fall prevention.
  • Established a certification program for caregivers to equip them with the skills to intervene and escalate major causes of crisis situations.
  • Integrated Hospitalization Tracking tool into every care phase, from intake to updating care notes on existing clients, to assess risk and track incidents/hospitalizations.
  • Leveraged newly organized data to monitor client conditions while communicating with caregivers, clients, and their families in real-time.

Actionable Steps for Reducing Hospitalization

Lowering your readmittance rate starts with tracking, tracking, and tracking. RPM can help agencies collect and draw insights from essential health data in sufficient quantities to make a real impact.

  1. First things first: start making note of health events and incidences of hospitalization for every patient. You won’t be able to track your progress until you have a healthy data lake to analyze.
  2. Take proactive measures such as encouraging thorough visit-logging and note-taking and properly training caregivers in preventive medical techniques.
  3. Integrate information capture into your intake process. As soon as new patients join your roster, capture prior hospitalization data to paint a more complete picture of their history.
  4. Leverage prior hospitalization information to tailor your care plans; ensure they have mechanisms in place to address potential risks.
  5. Provide caregivers with training on identifying and flagging potential causes of hospitalization before they reach crisis-level urgency.

Future-Proof Your Non-Medical In-Home Care With AxisCare

RPM is a must for agencies that want to strengthen connections between their existing teams, ramp up efficiency, and even enable smoother expansion rollouts when the time comes. Curious? Request a live demo with one of our experts.

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