When you began your career as a physician, chances are you were eager to build your own practice and begin accepting patients. However, the health care side of your job is very different from the business side of your job. There is a level of organization and office management that may not have been a core focus during medical school. That’s why finding partners that will allow your practice to flourish while providing unparalleled assistance is of utmost importance. Use this same lens to qualify if a Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) partnership is right for your practice.
Offering RPM to clients will show your patients that you have a pulse on today’s cutting-edge technology and value their time. You want to provide new services to your patients that they are happy with but will also streamline how you manage your office. Taking on a new vendor does not need to be a headache and may actually allow you to streamline organizational activities in your office. Here are a few questions to keep in mind when evaluating an RPM vendor.
Is your prospective RPM vendor a one-trick pony?
Does the company only offer one type of device? If so, that’s going to limit the impact they will have on your patients. Take a look at the patients you typically service. Is there a common thread? Ask the RPM company if they have access to devices that can help people with diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary issues and more. This will allow you to work with a single vendor for the various needs your patient base will require.
Can the RPM firm provide assistance to both your staff and patients?
You’ll want to confirm that the company issuing the RPM can assist your staff with placing an order and provide tutorials and assistance as needed with no additional fees. Are there additional administrative and organizational activities that the vendor can take on and remove from your staff’s current responsibilities? This will mitigate any sense of burnout your staff may feel. Can they provide your patients with assistance on how to use the devices and is this outreach available in several languages? You’ll want to work with a company that can connect with your patients.
Does the vendor offer a Care Team to assist patients?
Since RPM devices require regular transmission of data, will the vendor engage your patients directly to ensure this data will be shared with your office? Or does your office have to take this on? You should decide which would work best for your practice, staff and patients. There are benefits to both. This task can be given to a junior member on your staff to help build a relationship with a patient. But if your staff is already overwhelmed with daily activity, it may be best to have an outside firm handle this and regularly transmit data to your patient’s file. Ideally, you want to choose the method that will help your patients reach and support their health goals.
Can the vendor manage tech support?
Who will a patient reach out to if the RPM device begins to malfunction or if the patient has a question as to whether they can perform a certain activity while wearing the device? Is your staff equipped to answer these questions? If not, who can your staff or a patient turn to for guidance?
Ultimately, what’s the vendor’s goal?
Are they primarily interested in selling the equipment to medical practices and earning revenue from the fees they charge? Or is the vendor led by a group of medical practitioners who are vested in the health of your patients and are looking for ways to promote well-being and equity in the healthcare industry? Find out how the vendor interacts with patients to learn how to meet their needs and improve their devices. Which aligns with your philosophy?
Hopefully, this has provided you with additional insights on how to find the best vendor partner for your practice. Providing new services to your patients allows you to participate in digital healthcare innovations, alleviate your staff’s stress, provide better coordinated care, and potentially increase customer service that may benefit you with higher ratings and positive online reviews.