From the May 2019 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
Easy does it
Early automobiles were extremely easy to understand, which made them more attractive to more people. The same should be true for an RPM program. Your patient population has widely diverging comfort levels when it comes to using technology. You need to make it as easy as possible for patients to get started. Ensure your RPM system is purpose-built for specific patient populations. For example, elderly patients who are not very tech-savvy will need pre-configured devices that are easy to use. Younger patients with rising risk, on the other hand, may prefer to bring their own devices to the program. You need to develop programs that meet each group where they live. By keeping patients’ familiarity with devices and adaptability to user interfaces in mind, your care teams can overcome any hesitations or apprehensions patients may have around participating in RPM programs.
Consumable content is king
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When most of us have a question we feel is beyond our current competence level, such as the proper way to jump a battery, or trouble understanding what the icon version of a check engine light means, we often look to YouTube to see if there’s a video that will explain it. In an RPM program, compelling educational videos can help reduce unnecessary clinic visits for basic questions or time spent on the phone explaining simple care concepts to patients. Videos, health tips, and teach-back questions can often minimize or even eliminate situations where patients feel they need to interact directly with the care team, ensuring the team is spending its time with patients who actually do need them.
Communication is key
To truly empower patients within their plans of care, it is imperative that you get them to take advantage of features such as embedded video conferencing so they can share information with their providers more frequently. This approach enables them to unleash the full power of patient engagement, making them a true partner on the care team.
Proactive versus reactive
Healthcare has typically been a reactive industry, waiting for patients to come on-site, answer/return a phone call, or log in to a patient portal to seek treatment or provide information about their condition. A well-designed RPM program opens the door for a much more proactive approach. For example, low-cost engagement solutions such as secure text messaging can open a survey through a smartphone browser with a single touch, making it easy for patients to answer post-discharge questions through a secure, app-like experience.