Posted on July 5, 2022
Remote patient monitoring unlocks a world of opportunities and benefits for patients, clinicians, and the facilities they service. However, many RPM projects end up in ruin, with the brunt of the problem tracing back to the lack of careful planning. If you’re keen to ensure your RPM program rollout is a success at the first time of asking, then you need to start, first and foremost, with a strategic checklist. That’s where we come in. As one of the most experienced remote patient monitoring companies, we’ve compiled a comprehensive checklist that will guide you to success. Here goes.
Do you have the infrastructure ready to roll out your RPM? For instance, do you have a compatible billing system in place, which will integrate seamlessly with your vendor-sourced RPM technology? Can the new care management software gel with your existing EHR?
Like a good foundation for a building, robust technology infrastructure is key to ensuring the right support for your program. Some other concerns that will help shape this technological foundation include:
1. Specific nature of conditions to be managed, in this case, that’s cardiac care
2. Type of patient or clinical data you intend to collect
3. Care and process improvements you’d want to execute
Ultimately, you want an RPM partner or provider that’s able to set up your program from your already existing toolbox of technology, although a few additions may still be necessary. If you need a vendor who can do just that, reach out to Cardiac Rhythm today.
Of course, you can’t implement RPM programs without the expertise to match. But before that though, you need to ensure clinicians and physicians buy into the idea. That’s because one of the leading causes of digital transformation failure is down to internal resistance.
Doctors need to understand the technology is intended to aid their work, and not replace them. So your facility might want to first start with an awareness program to ensure everyone’s onboard.
Additionally, staff will need training as remote patient monitoring technology and the requisite skills don’t offer come with conventional medical training. This RPM training will largely be about:
1. Device utilization on the doctor’s part
2. Physicians learning how to teach patients to use the program
3. “What if” scenarios training to ensure physicians can handle hiccups
Alternatively, some RPM vendors have provisions that allow you to outsource to their qualified RPM specialists, which may be a great idea in times of surges.
Even if your RPM system is exclusively designed to meet cardiac care provision, you’ll likely monitor a range of data metrics for your patients including:
1. Blood oxygen
2. Heart rate
4. Blood sugar and more
Facilities can collect RPM data in a multitude of ways. The key denominator though is that their systems need to conform to HIPAA guidelines. Mostly, you’ll want to prioritize technology that has provisions for secure and wireless data transfer, with a preferred data integration system that resides in the cloud. This way, data becomes easier to consolidate and access regardless of time and geographical boundaries.
Moreover, the technology of your choosing needs to have data integration capabilities or APIs that allow interconnectivity with your existing data management system as well as your billing technology to ease reimbursement processes.
For your remote patient monitoring services in cardiac care to work out, you need to choose the right patients. This is one of the top three mistakes most implementors make, as patients are often matched to the wrong programs. On top of that, most don’t even show their patients how the technology works in the first place, which leads to a lack of understanding of how it all works.
So on your RPM checklist, you need to have a patient demographic setup. To help you finetune your audience, you’ll want to have patient enrollment governed by a set of:
1. Inclusion criteria
2. Exclusion criteria
3. Patient training procedures
Besides patients having long-term conditions like chronic heart diseases, there are a few other important things to think about as well, including patients’ connectivity and varying risk factors.
System failure can be unpredictable and unavoidable at times. Mostly though, it’s down to malicious or accidental data loss, both of which are brought about by human error, which is likely to creep in from time to time. In such scenarios, it’s important to have a fail-safe in case your primary data pipeline is down for some time for whatever reason. This is important to ensure:
1. No downtimes in vitals monitoring
2. More holistic diagnosis powered by round-the-clock data
3. Better accountability
4. Compliance with various policies and laws
So prioritize a secondary data backup solution for your RPM program checklist. Some vendors will take care of this for you, providing fail-safe and secondary data storage solutions. Although, other times the onus may be on you.
For RPM catering to remote heart monitoring at home, you’ll also have to spare a thought for your mobile cardiac telemetry setup. MCT monitoring is especially suitable for monitoring:
1. Medication titration
2. Post CABG
3. Asymptomatic arrhythmias
4. Post ablation
Ultimately, the most important thing to think about is whether you’ll be leasing or buying MCT devices. Fortunately, setting up high-quality MCT solutions is easier than ever with the right RPM partner such as Cardiac Rhythm. The perfect setup involves reliable MCT devices and the right baseline diagnostics system which largely automates data collection and alleviates the burden on the patient.
Additionally, good MCT setups need to be easily portable, have wireless provisions, secure, reliably accurate, and clinically approved.
RPM projects are like a puzzle. You need to put all the right pieces together coherently, and if one of the pieces is missing then your program will fall apart. From having the technical support system in place to training patients and physicians to prioritizing long-term care patients and data backup systems, all the individual parts need to come together to ensure the program is a cohesive whole. Of course, a large part of your success will also depend on your RPM vendor. If you need a reliable and experienced cardiac monitoring services partner, trust Cardiac Rhythm to be there. Contact us today.