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Remote Patient Monitoring Expands the Abilities of Home Health Agencies

Remote patient monitoring and telehealth are expanding to improve all areas of healthcare. Hospitals, provider groups, and home health agencies are already reaping major benefits from the technology, and usage is predicted to keep growing.

A 2008 study by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) showed revolutionary changes in the ability of patients with chronic conditions to live independently at home. The program showed such a drastic reduction in bed care days and hospital readmissions that patient numbers grew from 20,000 to 150,000 between 2008 and 2012. Patient satisfaction with the quality of care was 86 percent.

RPM Benefits Home Health Organizations 

The technology of remote patient monitoring is a major advancement in home health care. The ability to record and transmit vital signs wirelessly from home give nurses, providers, and physicians access to information they've never had in the past. The ability to see complications as they arise allows patients to be treated before hospital admission is necessary.

Some benefits of RPM for home health organizations include:

  • Decreased hospital readmissions - Trinity Health has released the largest program yet to utilize RPM and telehealth to provide the interventions necessary to avoid hospital admissions.
  • Increased health management between home visits - RPM enables the monitoring of vital signs and symptoms, allowing home nurses to determine which visits are most emergent.
  • The ability to stand out in the market - Patients who prefer the use of home health have added protection with the help of an organization using RPM. Home health workers can send home monitoring data to a patient's doctor if an office visit is necessary.
  • Cost reduction - A pilot program created by FirstHealth of the Carolinas in Pinehurst, NC suggests the opportunity to save millions with the technology. The 60-day care plan set up high-risk patients with a $700 system that reduced the need for rehospitalization, saving an estimated $8,000 per patient. 
  • Increased patient satisfaction - The overall increase in care, provides satisfaction leading to improved ratings and referrals.

Predicted Growth 

Home health agencies are expected to experience enormous growth and financial benefits related to RPM in the next few years. In a survey conducted by Frost and Sullivan, 76 healthcare stakeholders rated the level of impact of telehealth markets. Home healthcare and disease management through RPM technology were rated most important. Home and home health were also rated number 1 when stakeholders were asked where the biggest opportunity lies for telehealth and RPM. These numbers provide direct insight into the future of RPM for home health organizations. 

If you are considering the use of remote patient monitoring for your home healthcare agency, contact us today for more details.