Healthcare organizations are inundated every day with new ideas for how to utilize technology to counter challenges in patient care. It becomes a tall order to select a technology that meets the needs of both the patients and the healthcare team…not to mention ensuring that it is financially feasible.
“Get the best outcome for a patient and do it at the appropriate cost, “says Dr. Nick Turkal, Chief Medical Advisor to Lohman Technologies. Dr. Turkal is the former President and CEO of Advocate Aurora Health System, an $11B health system containing 26 hospitals and more than 500 sites of care throughout Wisconsin and Illinois.
As healthcare systems continue to invest in remote patient monitoring (RPM) and its arsenal of equipment, the question of return on investment is often addressed early in the search for the right solution from both the business leaders and the clinical team.
Dr. Nick Turkal, discusses the economic value of today’s Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) solutions. “The right solutions enable healthcare systems to reduce the amount of hospitalizations, allowing the less-ill patient population to stay within a lower acuity setting.”
The clinical advisory team from Lohman Technologies offers key insight for how health systems can meet both the clinical and financial goals with these four critical elements:
1) Keep Patients at Home At-Some-Cost
RPM solutions must keep patients at the LOWEST APPROPRIATE LEVEL OF CARE. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that RPM reduced hospital readmissions by 44% and emergency department visits by 34% in patients with heart failure*.
From 2007 to 2014, there was a 30.7% annual increase in Atrial Fibrillation (AF)-related ED visits in the US, and the annual cost of AF increased by 37%**. Patients with chronic conditions, such as these cardiac patients, are prime candidates for a technology that can help identify issues early in disease sequelae. Remote patient monitoring that provides the right type of data, for early intervention, can help avoid inappropriate ED and urgent care visits and costly hospital readmissions.
2) Add / Not Replace
RPM solutions must ADJUNCT PATIENT CARE. With staffing shortages comes fewer patient appointments, even though the need for these appointments is growing annually. One study in the American Journal of Managed Care pointed out that nearly half of all Americans have a chronic condition and these patients account for 65% of outpatient visits, averaging 7 visits per year***.
Providers need the ability to collect data, outside of the walls of their practice, and utilize that data to care for their patients without continually bringing them into the office. Patient monitoring devices may yield these data points, but then where does it go and how does it get into the hands of the provider?
3) Integrate into the Care Continuum
The RPM solution must be able to INTEGRATE INTO WORKFLOWS. Imagine a technology that has the ability to provide rich and actionable data…but also requires more FTEs to manage that data. A patient monitoring tool should be designed to fit seamlessly into existing workflows and improve patient and staff compliance in order to reap the available reimbursement benefits. Documentation means dollars…in order to submit timely and accurate reimbursement requests, the data should be transmitted directly to the EMR where it is always readily accessible. In addition to revenue, staff productivity should be top of mind when selecting a patient monitoring solution. If the technology design means more physical bodies required, more clicks, more steps, and more time…it will also lead to staff dissatisfaction and feed right back into the vicious cycle of staff shortages.
4) Best Outcome at the Appropriate Cost
The RPM solution and subsequent hardware or software must IMPROVE THE COST STRUCTURE FOR HEALTHCARE ORGANIZATIONS. Healthcare is a business that directly impacts patient outcomes due to the nature of reimbursements. In an article from Medical Economics, it was noted that an average primary care practice ranges from “1,800 to 2,000 patients with an average of 10% being Medicare patients and more than two-thirds of those patients having at least one chronic condition. Considering these metrics, with an average annual revenue per chronic condition of approximately $100, a practice can expect to make between $144,000 and $160,000 per physician through remote monitoring of their chronically ill Medicare patients”****.
More revenue means the ability to offer more services to patients and to hire more staff to care for those patients.
Healthcare challenges are endless and the need for creative solutions is more critical than ever. A technology only becomes a solution when it is able to make an impact both clinically and financially. Retired President and CEO of Advocate Aurora Hospital, Dr. Nick Turkal, has more to say on the importance of the need for an integrated RPM solution here: https://vimeo.com/user188140280
The HomECG+ from Lohman Technologies provides an effective solution-as-a-service that can help empower revenue growth, enhance patient outcomes, and provide peace of mind.
For more information about the HomECG+ solution, click here.