By Matt Guldin, Manager, Digital Health Portfolio at Panda Health
After months of evaluating dozens of solutions, we recently launched our Health-At-Home Category, which features our top telehealth and remote patient monitoring (RPM) solution recommendations. The time we spent researching these solutions provided invaluable information, including unique insights into the RPM landscape and how it is changing and evolving.
This blog shares five of the biggest lessons we learned during the evaluation process:
1. RPM is not just about technology
Technology is a huge part of any RPM initiative, but RPM services and device management are also key to a successful program. Important services include identifying patients who are eligible for RPM, onboarding patients, and engaging them. In fact, many RPM programs fail because hospitals lack the time or in-house expertise required to recruit patients and keep them engaged.
The behind-the-scenes logistics of shipping and repairing devices, as well as troubleshooting problems, is also key to a successful RPM initiative. While some hospitals choose to handle this in-house, others are finding that outsourcing to a partner significantly reduces the program’s complexity.
Hospitals should seek out RPM solutions that can support these service- and device-related needs and can provide metrics related to the percentage of enrolled patients that continually stay engaged using their solution.
“When you have patients at home that can’t work with this technology independently, family caregivers or other support is critical to ongoing engagement. Hospitals also sometimes underestimate how difficult it is to identify and onboard patients, as well as manage, ship, and reuse devices. The best RPM solutions can help hospitals navigate these challenges.”
– Sherri Dorfman, Remote Patient Monitoring Subject Matter Expert, Panda
2. Identifying and enrolling eligible patients is harder than many hospitals think
Determining which patient populations are the best fit for RPM can help ensure more participation and a greater ROI, however, continuously manually identifying eligible patients is very time-consuming. A third-party solution that can help identify patients through an auto-enrollment feature, which would reduce the friction associated with manual signups and ease the enrollment process.
3. ROI will take time
There is no cookie cutter approach to enhancing RPM profitability. What works for one health system may be different for another depending on the patient population, level of patient engagement, geographic reimbursement environment, and program scope. However, all RPM programs do achieve better profitability as they scale. Generally, it can take six months to a year for a program to break-even. It is crucial for hospitals to collaborate with their RPM partner to determine their specific ROI goals and work toward them together.
4. Ease of use and strong support are critical for high engagement rates
Remote care is exactly that—it occurs in the home and is reliant on seamless device integration, simplified troubleshooting, and proactive support from both clinicians and family caregivers. This is especially important when a patient doesn’t understand the value or reason for using an RPM program or has difficulty with a monitoring device. Hospitals may want to consider an RPM solution that offers dual sign-on options that allows family members to sign on during the enrollment process and gain full access and visibility into whether their family member is fully utilizing the program.
5. The patient, staff, and provider experience must be a top priority when evaluating solutions
Deploying and managing a successful RPM program requires a seamless experience for all parties—the patient, staff, and physician—and any solutions used must be evaluated on that. The vendors we chose to participate in our marketplace all support patients, staff, and physicians to enable them to participate in RPM efficiently and productively.
Panda Health’s digital marketplace can ease RPM challenges
Remote patient monitoring provides an efficient way to treat and manage patients and will continue to experience strong growth among hospitals across the country. However, choosing the right solution is challenging. At Panda, we make that process much easier. Check out our marketplace to learn more about our Panda-awarded RPM suppliers: Carium, CareSimple, Impilo, Optimize Health, Stel, and Zyter.