Chronic and/or mental health conditions accounts for 90 percent of the nation’s $3.8 trillion annual healthcare costs, and it’s easy to understand why. Chronic conditions are prevalent among aging baby boomers and millennials who (particularly following the COVID-19 pandemic) commonly lack the means, desire or willingness to attend routine doctor visits. The confluence of these factors has created a rather significant conundrum for doctors: How can they conceivably improve clinical outcomes when they are unable to gather the data they need to monitor patient conditions in person?
What Type of Patient Data Helps with Chronic Conditions?
While virtual visits (also known as telehealth or telemedicine) have helped doctors to see their patients online, for patients with chronic conditions, capturing ongoing vital measurements such as blood pressure or weight is also needed to complete the patient picture. Providers benefit from seeing this daily data since it allows them to see trends and anomalies and determine if the patient’s condition is controlled. This same data needed for clinicians is also powerful for patients helping them to engage in their care. For example, people with diabetes benefit from knowing their blood sugar so they can determine if their diabetes care plan is working optimally.
According to research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, the chronic conditions well-suited to RPM include diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and stroke, obesity, substance abuse, asthma and PTSD.
Remote Patient Monitoring Solutions are Available Now
This is where technology comes in. NextGen® Healthcare, in partnership with health data experts at Validic, has introduced a flexible and modular Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) solution. Doctors can invite their patients to participate in the RPM program and, with the aid of Bluetooth-enabled measurement devices (e.g., blood pressure cuffs, glucometers, etc.), real-time biometric data is sent via a patient app on their smart phone to the provider’s EHR dashboard available on the virtual visits platform. No office visits, no parking fees, no COVID-19 concerns, and no need to print out glucose data logs. (The initial offering from NextGen and Validic supports diabetes, hypertension and both conditions combined.)
Improved Patient Outcomes
A flexible and convenient RPM solution can help improve patient outcomes. With expanded capabilities to monitor more chronic care patients, physicians can fulfill obligations associated with awarded grant funds and quality organizations. As RPM proliferates and more patients become comfortable with the technology, patient loyalty and engagement with virtual visits stands to rise and therefore telehealth offerings will no doubt increase.Subscribe to the NextGen® blog to keep updated with the latest news and issues impacting the healthcare community.