Digital innovations in connected health enable patients to take ownership of their respective health journeys and become more engaged. Research shows that patients who participate in the decision-making process, obtaining preventive care and adhere to treatment protocol have better health outcomes.With technologies such as medical IoT devices becoming commonplace in medical settings, home-based care is emerging as an important part of the global health ecosystem. At the same time, patient engagement is increasingly recognized as a key part of quality healthcare practices.
Healthcare providers have an opportunity to pair these practices by using remote patient monitoring (RPM) to boost patient engagement within their practice. They can improve both patient satisfaction and quality of care.
Engaged patients are invested in their own health. They understand they have a part to play in achieving personal goals. They feel empowered and in control of their own health outcomes, and they are eager to see the results of their hard work. For this reason, engaged patients are much more likely to adhere to treatment protocol.
There are many other benefits of patient engagement in healthcare, including:
In the context of RPM, we can usually measure patient engagement based on the frequency with which a patient interacts with the technology and software. According to a 2018 study, patients who uploaded their biometric data at least once a day were less likely to have HbA1c levels over 9% than patients who uploaded their data every two days or less.
An ageing population and a growing number of people with chronic diseases require healthcare organisations to provide care for higher numbers of patients who require more intensive and expensive interventions.
In the United States, 6 in ten adults have a chronic disease, and 4 in ten adults have two or more. The major chronic disease categories are heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. These illnesses are the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S., and a significant contributor to the annual healthcare spend of $3.3 trillion. RPM programs have the greatest impact on patients with chronic conditions like these.
In-home monitoring is both appropriate and comfortable for these individuals outside of acute-care episodes. These patients also know they must actively manage their health to prevent negative future outcomes and achieve a significantly better quality of life. With a personalised monitoring plan, they can do this from the comfort of their own home. They can also receive targeted feedback tracking their progress and achieving the ideal balance of medication, diet, and lifestyle adjustments for their unique conditions.
RPM is proven to increase patient engagement for chronic disease patients compared to traditional appointment-based monitoring. In a study by the University of Montreal, RPM significantly reduced medical visits for women with gestational diabetes, achieving a 16.1% reduction in cost per patient without sacrificing the quality of care. The women reported feeling more satisfied with the educational support they received, more empowered regarding their own health, and more satisfied with their care overall than women in the control group.
Achieving better patient engagement in an RPM program is easy with the right support:
There are many patient engagement technologies on the market, and the RPM platform you use should reflect your patients’ diverse needs. Choose your patient engagement software and devices carefully based on key criteria such as:
The more easily patients can use the devices and patient engagement platforms you provide, the more likely they are to remain in the program and achieve their desired outcomes.
Patients want to be part of their health journey and to take part in the decisions taken. They wish to be informed and to understand their status and the considerations leading to each decision. Building a treatment plan which involves the patient, starting from allowing the patient to schedule their own appointments using an online portal can have a tremendous impact on their level of motivation. You can also use multiple channels of communication (email, text messages, and phone calls) to remind patients of how important it is to actively participate in their own treatment. Sometimes a brief reminder message is all it takes to convince a patient to take another blood pressure or blood glucose reading that day.
Connecting devices to the cloud is a critical part of establishing an easy exchange of health data between you and your patients. A confusing or restrictive RPM platform can damage your engagement efforts. Look for partner platforms that understand the complex needs of this industry and which have produced good results for other healthcare providers. If they have successfully made a difference for other patients, yours are likely to respond just as well.
Routine in-person visits are a critical part of successful RPM implementation, but sometimes earlier interventions are necessary to ensure optimal outcomes for the patient. Your RPM platform should notify you of any troubling trends in patients’ health data that may indicate:
…or any number of other emerging health concerns. When this happens, be sure to follow up. Addressing these issues early is key to assuring patients you are actively participating in the process of improving their health alongside them.
The power of patient engagement is undeniable, and remote patient monitoring technologies are key to unlocking its benefits.
BioT can keep your patients engaged and motivated throughout the entire treatment process. Our remote patient monitoring software offers a variety of tools to increase patient engagement, including:
Contact us today to learn more about our software platform and how it can keep your patients’ motivation high.