When it comes to healthcare, the word “remote” can give people the wrong impression. Remote monitoring, also known as virtual health or telehealth, refers to healthcare services provided using advanced solutions such as videos, apps, imaging, artificial intelligence, and, of course, telephones.
In this context, remote simply means that two people aren’t physically located in the same room — not that those two people aren’t connected. In fact, research has shown that remote patient monitoring, when performed by clinical experts, has the power to do everything from impact outcomes and reduce cost to keep patients calm, especially during difficult times such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are 5 ways remote monitoring enhances the patient-centric care delivery model.
1. Remote monitoring creates relationships.
As providers, we know that one of the biggest hurdles in healthcare is getting patients to find and establish a relationship with a care provider. One in four Americans doesn’t have a primary care provider (PCP), and that number is only growing. By allowing people to create and build a trusted, therapeutic alliance with clinicians remotely, we increase connectivity where it might not exist at all otherwise.
2. Patients get care when and where they need it.
Remote patient monitoring fits healthcare into a patient’s life — not the other way around. Because patients don’t have to physically come in to receive care, they can access treatment when, where, and how they want it. For the nine in 10 Americans who use the Internet, it’s a factor that increases in importance every day.
3. Remote monitoring is flexible and fosters continued care.
Remote patient monitoring works in two ways: as a complement to or a substitute for in-person care delivery. That gives providers the flexibility to shift their care model based on patient population needs, organizational capabilities, and resource availability.
In addition to helping providers address evolving issues, remote patient monitoring also helps with maintenance. When continued care is necessary, it allows healthcare to become a part of a patient’s daily routine. Care becomes an alarm on a smartphone or an alert on a computer, rather than a trip to the doctor. That makes the daily applications of care something that can be addressed simply and easily.
4. Remote monitoring addresses today’s healthcare challenges.
From an organizational perspective, remote patient monitoring is attractive to stakeholders because it addresses industry challenges such as:
- Expected clinician shortages
- Changes to reimbursement models
- Higher consumer demand
- Growth of digital technologies
- Ever-evolving regulations
Furthermore, a combination of remote monitoring and automation can relieve stress on clinicians to perform repetitive tasks, which gives them more time to focus on treating patients.
5. Remote monitoring delivers results — for patients and providers.
Remote monitoring yields returns on both sides. It helps synchronize care between providers, improves physician-to-physician communication, improves the management of chronic diseases, and gives providers more access to patient-reported outcomes.
When performed by teams with clinical experience, it produces results. Remote patient monitoring can:
- Expand access to health services for patients and physicians
- Improve outcomes
- Increase patient engagement
- Improve care coordination
- Reduce cost
- Increase data sharing among providers
- Improve efficiency
In short, the possibilities of remote patient monitoring are ever-expanding. Now that we know how well virtual health and clinical expertise work in tandem, we’re better positioned than ever before to humanize healthcare — even when we’re not able to be in the same place.
At Shearwater, we’re happy to answer questions about remote monitoring.
In our conversations and work with remote monitoring companies, we’ve found that a full substitute of in-person care is not the goal. Rather, a remote team of clinicians serving as the frontline for patient engagement and monitoring allows for in-person healthcare professionals to make more efficient use of their time with in-person care. Data curation from remote monitoring can optimize encounters with a healthcare professional who has prescriptive authority.
If you’d like to learn more about how Shearwater Health can support your remote monitoring or telehealth solutions, contact us today.