The Remote Monitoring (R)evolution: a Growing Need | myNEXUS®
01 . 10 . 2020
01 . 10 . 2020
By its very nature, healthcare is in a constant state of evolution; populations, treatments, illnesses, and technologies are discovered every day and we are at an important moment in healthcare’s next giant leap. The iconic “doctor’s bag” has been replaced with handheld devices sporting the latest in connected care. But what value does that bring to the patient? The flood of options for seeking care can be overwhelming and confusing. Understanding each part of how the healthcare system works, how information is communicated, and how it impacts patient outcomes are all crucial elements in implementing a successful remote monitoring program to facilitate in-home care. Quality of life and controlling health care costs are necessary for managing healthcare in a technology-infused system.
With the emergence of COVID-19 in 2020, we are seeing the healthcare system pressure-tested and an accelerated need for innovative care delivery methods. With this accelerated need, myNEXUS has witnessed the transformation of the healthcare ecosystem. No longer can home healthcare employees make all visits in person, instead, the current climate requires the flexibility to also perform visits virtually with the ability to remotely collect data to drive structured, patient-specific protocols and education.
After speaking to many home health agencies in the second quarter of 2020, the feedback we received is clear: patients want limited contact with providers in their home. However, patients still need medical oversight to manage and treat their health care conditions. Home health providers continue to feel the weight of this dilemma, knowing their patients need their clinicians, while also trying to balance protecting those same patients from increased COVID-19 exposure that could worsen their health due to risk factors such as underlying conditions and age.
With the use of remote monitoring in the home, providers can meet this challenge. Remote monitoring gives valuable insight into daily vital signs and symptoms of worsening conditions, along with visibility into actionable trends that otherwise may go unnoticed. Utilizing virtual visits allows for less in-home time and exposure for patients while keeping them on track to meet their healthcare goals. Heart failure, COPD, and diabetes management continue to be the three most common conditions successfully managed through remote monitoring and continue to demonstrate great value to both patients and providers. Using patient-specific parameters, vital signs and symptoms can be tracked, trended, flagged, and assessed, allowing for proactive (instead of reactive) clinical interventions that may improve patient outcomes and prevent unnecessary acute care. These individualized patient parameters and protocols also facilitate a tailored education model allowing for scheduled, disease-specific education focusing on identified areas of need for the patient. Patients can continue to learn how to manage their condition with real-time, meaningful content specific to their current signs and symptoms, while also following along with teaching materials left in the home during the monitoring equipment set-up. Remote monitoring allows home health clinicians to deliver in-home visits with greater specificity using the clinical data and educational needs captured through the daily monitoring process.
Properly managed, collaborative, and clinician-driven remote monitoring programs can drastically improve patient and provider independence and outcomes across the healthcare continuum. When patients are provided with tools empowering them to become active, engaged participants in their healthcare, they often have greater success in managing and maintaining their health. At the same time, providers gain valuable insight into patient needs, allowing them to prioritize interventions and limited resources to best serve their patients. Remote monitoring programs can reduce utilization of healthcare resources, allow providers to respond to the changing healthcare climate, and reduce the risk for insurers, caregivers, and ultimately, patients themselves.