The rate at which chronic diseases are becoming more prevalent in this country is alarming. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of all American adults currently live with one or more chronic health conditions. When we consider the millions of people currently living with heart disease, diabetes, COPD, or any of the other leading causes of death in the United States, the issue seems suddenly more desperate.
To help stem the tide of chronic disease prevalence, it is important that patients, caregivers, insurers, and family members alike entrust the aid of powerful health technologies designed to improve every facet of a patient’s treatment plan. And not many are more effective than the use of remote patient monitoring in treating, educating, and empowering patients living with chronic diseases.
Improve Health Through Better Education
Knowledge is power. However, many of us routinely underestimate just how much power knowledge can have on enacting change and improving lifestyles. For patients living with chronic diseases mainly caused by poor lifestyle decisions such as unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and other controlled substances, it is especially true that a little education can make all the difference in their overall well-being.
Through remote patient monitoring, healthcare providers can connect with their patients in a more personal and timely manner than experienced through office and hospital visits alone. By way of virtual consultations and 24/7 access to clinical support, chronic disease patients can receive valuable insights into their specific health data, as well as be given the tools and information necessary for creating positive change in their lives.
When these tools are combined with other ehealth solutions, such as corporate wellness programs or population health management, their reach and potency can be greatly increased to encompass nearly every aspect of a patient’s daily life.
Boosting Preventative Care Practices
While it is important to target patients currently living with chronic diseases to reverse their habits and improve their health, it is also vital that healthcare providers find new and effective tools for aiding in preventative care practices.
Through remote patient monitoring, healthcare providers can connect with their patients on a larger scale. By unlocking doors to round-the-clock consultations, doctor visits without the need for commuting, and other amazing healthcare benefits, remote patient monitoring can drastically alter current healthcare procedures and allow providers to reach audiences previously unavailable to them.
Remote patient monitoring not only brings patients closer to their care providers, but also helps those providers better understand and better manage their own disease management strategies.
Reducing Rates of Hospital Readmissions
It is integral to the efforts of home health agencies to limit hospitalizations rates among their patients. Not only are hospitalizations a sign of worsening health, they also lead to spikes in expenses, further complications, and medical-related accidents. Even worse, with the implementation of the CMS Home Health Value-Based Purchasing program – which is currently being piloted in nine states – home health agencies stand to see their Medicare payments reduced in re-hospitalization goals aren’t met. By investing in ehealth programs such as remote patient monitoring, home health agencies not only can keep their patients at home – safe and connected – but also improve their chances of complying with the current and any future incentive-based performance programs.
About Karen Thomas
Karen Thomas is a certified management accountant and the president of Advanced TeleHealth Solutions, one of the leading telehealth monitoring companies in the U.S. Karen is a nationally renowned speaker, a lecturer for Missouri State University’s graduate-level Health Care Administration program, and a contributing author to, “Home Telehealth: Connecting Care Within the Community,” published by Royal Society of Medicine Press Ltd. Karen has appeared on numerous webinars and has spoken at dozens of conferences on the benefits of remote patient monitoring, generating enhanced clinical outcomes, patient engagement, and coordination of care. She is a member of the Missouri Governors Innovation Task Force, a past board member of the National Association for Home Care and Private Duty Home Care Association, a member of the American Telemedicine Association and the American Society on Aging, and a past ex-officio member of the advisory board of HealthCare Technology Association of America.