Remote patient monitoring can help providers best serve the healthcare needs of their patients while coping in today’s challenging environment.
Three years after the COVID-19 pandemic hospitals and physician offices are still trying to cope with the fallout. Physician and nursing shortages that began before the pandemic are now magnified, placing our nation’s healthcare system in an extremely challenging position. Professional shortages, increased costs, and reports of extreme stress, anxiety, and burnout are plaguing our healthcare system, but remote patient monitoring (RPM) may be able to assist in easing these burdens.
The American Hospital Association reports that in 2017, the majority of our nursing workforce was close to the age of retirement with more than half being 50 and older, and almost 30 percent age 60 and older. In 2021 nursing schools were turning away applicants due to a lack of faculty and training sites, but nurses are not the only shortage we are experiencing.
The strain of the physician shortage is becoming evident everyday to the general public who struggle to get a timely appointment with their physician. The Association of American Medical Colleges reports that the US could see a shortage of 54,100 to 139,000 physicians by the year 2033, and one-third of practicing physicians will reach retirement age over the next decade. Although all fields have been affected, the biggest decline in physicians was seen in primary care. This presents a serious access issue for patients which may increase visits to emergency rooms and affect chronic disease management.
The challenge for physicians and hospitals is how best to continue to serve the healthcare needs of their patients while coping with challenges that seem beyond their control. During the course of the pandemic, we saw a rise in the use of telemedicine and RPM services, especially among primary care providers. The JAMA Network reported the results of a telemedicine and RPM study during the COID-19 pandemic and found unexpected patient safety benefits with fewer hospitalizations, fewer deaths, and reduced costs. As our nation faces a professional healthcare shortage with limited resources, remote patient monitoring can assist in the day-to-day management of chronic conditions preventing unnecessary hospitalizations, and give physicians a more comprehensive picture of a patient’s health between office visits.
The benefits of RPM to a patient and their healthcare provider include:
- Receipt of regular and accurate health readings offers a more comprehensive view of a patient’s health and aids in the effective management of chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure, glucose monitoring, weight management, and pulmonary conditions.
- Licensed nurses supervise the patient’s health, interceding when necessary decreasing visits to the emergency room, and reducing strain on the office staff with limited availability of appointments.
- The physician has real-time data at their fingertips.
- Remote monitoring can make office visits more efficient and can limit stress for the provider and the patient.
- RPM services may be covered by Medicare and some insurance companies.
- Remote patient monitoring can increase revenue streams.
Studies into RPM services have proven its effectiveness, in not only patient safety and improving outcomes, but also in reducing medical provider burnout, reducing healthcare costs for the provider and the patient, increasing patient satisfaction, and alleviating some of the stresses that exist with today’s healthcare challenges.
For more information on remote patient monitoring services or RPM Healthcare, visit rpmhealthcare.com or call 888-672-8436.