Remote patient monitoring uses digital technologies and software to monitor and capture a patient’s medical information and then electronically transmit the collected data to the healthcare providers for assessment and evaluation.
RPM is a technology that allows patients with kidney disease to see their nephrologist or other physicians online. Patients can also receive information on medications and tests they need, as well as get reminders about appointments or reminders to schedule follow-up visits. RPM also enables patients to track their progress in managing chronic kidney disease through their own dashboard.
Remote patient monitoring, or RPM program, is made possible through digital technologies like smart scales, pulse oximeters, glucometers, home dialysis machines, ECG & Stethoscopes, and wearable devices to track steps/heart-rate/fall risk/sleep.
These digital devices can measure and track a host of medical and health data from the patient, which the patient would otherwise have to get checked through an appointment. Thus, RPM ensures that patients get top-quality care without frequenting the hospital for every minor test and check-up.
Nephrology incorporates RPM in its stroke diagnosis and care, nephrology uses RPM extensively for at-home dialysis patients, and general medicine uses RPM as a substitute for routine physical check-ups.
RPM for Nephrologists
Kidney disease is the most prevalent form of chronic disease in hospitals. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) alone amount to $125 Billion in Medicare costs each year.
Management of these diseases is extensive. There are several stages of the treatment. It starts from basic lifestyle changes and medication to dialysis, and finally, a kidney transplant.
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) and chronic care management (CCM) are critical care modalities in nephrology practices. Remote Patient Monitoring is an important part of the nephrologist’s role in ensuring that patients with chronic renal disease have the best possible outcomes.
RPM is approaching to managing patients with chronic health conditions who require ongoing medical care and attention. Remote Monitoring considers all aspects of a patient’s condition from diagnosis and treatment through evaluation and follow-up. The goal of RPM is to improve outcomes for these patients by coordinating their care across providers, institutions, and settings; improving communication with patients; developing individualized plans for each patient; identifying potential problems before they become serious; and preventing complications from occurring at all costs.
RPM and CKD
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a leading cause of death in the US, with over 500,000 cases per year. Nephrologists are the primary care providers for patients with chronic kidney disease and many other conditions related to kidneys.
RPM also allows nephrologists’ offices to become more efficient since they aren’t spending as much time on paperwork or charting during visits; instead, they can focus on providing better care while doing other tasks at home or work.
US Government remote patient monitoring reimbursement
Remote patient monitoring is a medical technology that allows nurses and physicians to monitor patients in their homes or other locations. The US government has recognized the benefits of remote patient monitoring, and now offers reimbursement for those services through Medicare, Medicaid and many private insurers. Remote patient monitoring can help you keep your patients healthy while avoiding hospital stays.
A use case is a description of how you will use a system. It’s the way in which a customer or user would describe their experience with the system, what they are doing and why they are doing it. You can think of it as an ‘interview’ between your team and yourself to make sure that everyone understands what is going on and how things fit together.
Gaps in Kidney Care
Due to the vast number of kidney-related diseases, there are gaps in the entire kidney care process. Some of these gaps include:
- The poor transition of care from one stage of treatment to the other becomes difficult to coordinate between all the different doctors, systems, and healthcare providers.
- A lack of adequate patient education as some patients are not very educated about the stages of their treatment.
- Low patient satisfaction leads to them being unable to give informed consent. Doctors need to be more forthcoming about treatment options and encourage shared decision-making.
- Poor management of co-morbidities. Healthcare is not a one-dimensional phenomenon where only 1 disease affects the patient at a time. Most people with kidney-related problems face multiple diseases, and doctors cannot effectively navigate through these complexities in some cases.
The Promise of RPM
As mentioned above, kidney diseases currently cost hospitals hundreds of billions of dollars. This is a large problem as it reduces the availability of quality care. Most of the problems are involved in the administrative process due to the multiple stages of kidney diseases like CKD and ESRD.
Treatment ranges from diet to dialysis; thus, hospital administrators need to keep track of a large range of specialists. This makes it hard for patients to remain at home and get treatment. Thus, patients suffering from CKD and ESRD have a high chance of getting hospitalized.
Hospitalization makes the treatment process more straightforward and easy to manage. However, it also leads to incredibly high costs for both the patient and the hospital.
RPM tries to fix this problem using its ability to remotely collect, record, and transmit data to physicians wherever they may be. Remote patient monitoring allows doctors to gain all the relevant information they need for whatever stage of treatment they are at through remote technology. The technology also stores patient information, and thus doctors have instant access to the progression of the patient’s disease at every stage, allowing them to move faster with their prognosis and treatments.
Nephrologist RPM roles and responsibilities
As a nephrologist, you are the primary care physician for your patients. You are responsible for educating them about their condition and how to manage it. You also manage the care of your patient through medication management, as well as providing education on disease-modifying treatments (DMT) such as kidney transplantation or dialysis and transplantation of organs from related donors.
The number of patients suffering from CKD
The number of patients suffering from CKD is expected to grow by 57% between 2009 and 2020. It is also a leading cause of death in the United States, with more than 1 million people diagnosed worldwide each year. In fact, CKD may be one of the most significant causes of global health care costs today; its annual cost is estimated at $3 trillion globally (or $12 billion per year).
It is common knowledge amongst medical professionals that to treat CKD and many other kidney-related diseases, specialists typically only need patient blood chemical levels. RPM allows doctors to have this information and any other information they need for their particular check-up.
Essentially, RPM consolidates patient data and makes it instantly available to the doctor. This removes the hospital’s administrative costs, as the RPM software does everything.
The software provides suggestions and recommendations to the patient and explains the medical needs behind them.
What Can You Do?
Fitting your hospital with the best telehealth technology that can access remote patient monitoring is essential. In addition, RPM and telehealth can save every practice a good percentage in medical costs.
SmartClinix offers the latest RPM and telehealth technologies. One of the most functionally diverse devices sold right now is the SmartCart, which can make your practice completely RPM friendly. SmartClinix also provides RPM devices such as Blood Pressure Cuffs scales, glucometers, oximeters, and much more. So, head on over to SmartClinix right now to upgrade your practice!