As healthcare providers seek to deliver better care and enable the best possible quality of life for patients, while maximizing and cost efficiencies, telehealth services – and remote patient monitoring, specifically – continue to grow. Because of the many benefits of remote patient monitoring, the market is expected to grow globally at a 16% CAGR through 2022, reaching more than $535 million in the United States alone
Success of a remote patient monitoring program, however, depends on a number of factors, beyond simply choosing the right solution for your telehealth services delivery. If you’ve started offering remote patient monitoring services, but aren’t seeing quite the results you expected, there are a few things to look at that can help you grow your practice more effectively.
Picking the right target populations
Engaging patients that are the best candidates for remote patient monitoring is key to a successful program. That includes understanding which patients will not only be best served, but also those who will adopt the service.
It’s important to understand which conditions can be effectively managed or treated using remote monitoring. Many chronic conditions, for instance, can effectively be co-managed by patients and providers without the need to repeated clinic visits, not only offering a more convenient management plan, but reducing costs for all parties. Eighty-six percent of all healthcare costs are related to chronic and mental health conditions, making it an ideal target for enhancing quality of care while reducing costs.
Geography and travel are also important factors. Patients in rural areas or without convenient commuting options are likely to adopt remote patient monitoring to reduce the challenges of getting to healthcare facilities. Look for those patients who may have frequently skipped regular visits or those who have challenges getting to the office for any reason.
Also, because telehealth relies on modern technology, understanding which patients are more tech-savvy can help build your practice. Because of their familiarity with modern devices, they are more likely to use wearable devices, tablets, online portals, and other elements that make the services possible. Patients who have signed up for electronic communication, who make appointments online, or even who simply have provided mobile phone numbers are likely going to have an easier time adjusting to remote care. That doesn’t mean other patients aren’t interested, and patient education also plays a large role in your program’s success.
When starting your remote patient monitoring practice, don’t try to do too much at once. Start with a reasonably sized target audience or set of treatable conditions and focus on building adoption. Trying to do build too quickly can overwhelm staff and result in patients not receiving the personalized attention they require, reducing adoption, increasing office visits, and making care less convenient – directly in opposition to your program’s objectives. As you meet success targets, you’ll be able to add new services, features, and demographics.
Focus on patients and their conditions, not technology
While remote patient monitoring is enabled by technology, a successful program will focus on the patients’ conditions – specifically, the benefits and outcomes of RPM. The focus should be on why remote monitoring is a better alternative to traditional care. Knowing your patients and personalizing benefits with respect to their health and personal conditions can make a difference in adoption.
If you’ve chosen the right technology platform, the technology will be intuitive and will make care easier and more efficient, not act as an impediment. It will also support tailoring your services to specific population groups you’ve identified based on condition, geography, or other factors, and will allow you to scale your services as you grow.
Keep staff (and patients) focused
Your remote monitoring solution provides important benefits, but ongoing communication between patients, physicians, and other staff are critical to the overall success of the program and keeps everyone engaged. Regular coaching and reviews help patients better understand and manage their conditions – particularly any changes – and allows for behavioral adjustments for better outcomes. Communication also ensures patients can be updated on new system or program features and, perhaps most importantly, keeps patients aware of their remote monitoring solution. Likewise, a structured education and awareness process keeps physicians and staff up-to-date and aware of everything your program has to offer, including benefits for them and their patients. Awareness is the biggest factor in driving adoption.
Your solution provider can provide valuable consulting services that can help you effectively design and implement your remote patient monitoring and other telehealth solutions. Trapollo, for instance, can provide support for all stages of your service roll out, from implementation to training to best practices and pitfalls to avoid to guide your program’s success and drive growth.