Primary care providers are tasked with monitoring a patient’s general health and wellness, but this is no small feat. Patients with ongoing health conditions and even those with relatively few health needs often rely on primary care visits to address their needs, many of which can pile up in the months or even years that may pass between visits. That’s where remote patient monitoring for primary care providers comes in; these devices can help bridge the gap between patients’ daily lives and their primary care providers.

Primary Care for RPM

What is Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM)?

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is a strategy that helps healthcare providers monitor and manage patient health data from anywhere at any time. The goal is to collect and communicate vitals, health changes, and other key information so that patients and providers can interact with it in real time.

Instead of waiting for serious health symptoms or complications to arise, patients can seek care when warning signs emerge – or simply keep in touch with what’s happening in their bodies.

The Benefits of RPM for Primary Care

Like other telehealth services, RPM enables primary care providers to take a direct look at a patient’s daily life and health status. Let’s take a closer look at some of RPM’s benefits.

For Patients

Having the knowledge and resources necessary to take healthcare into one’s own hands helps patients engage in the treatment and recovery process. It also helps with:

  • Better Disease Management: More accurate and consistent health data helps patients better understand how to meet their needs on a daily basis.
  • Early Interventions: Preventing health concerns is generally a lot easier than treating them. By being clued into changes in vitals or emerging health symptoms, patients have the tools they need to seek help early.
  • Accessible Care: Whether they’re limited by disability, transportation, distance, or something else entirely, patients can access the support they need from afar with RPM.

For Providers

Providers can also reap the benefits of RPM. When implemented appropriately, RPM devices and technology can help alleviate some of your workload. Additionally, they can enhance the care you offer.

  • Efficient Care: The more severe a patient’s health needs, the more complicated care becomes. Stepping in early or responding to milder signs and symptoms makes providing care easier (and faster).
  • Cost Savings: Less in-person visits and hospitalizations from patients means less overhead costs for providers. You can offer the same level of care without the same need for in-person operating hours, supplies, staff, etc.
  • Better Patient Care: The care patients receive with the timely updates and insights RPM provides tends to be more successful and impactful.

How RPM is Implemented in Primary Care

There are dozens of devices and strategies that help bring RPM to primary care, but some of the most popular RPM solutions include the following.

If you’re ready to bring remote patient monitoring to your primary care patient population, you can expect to follow these general steps:

  1. Consider Needs and Goals. Determine your patient population’s needs to consider how RPM can help you.
  2. Select Technology and Services. Choose an RPM platform and devices that fit your needs and can easily be used by your team and your patients.
  3. Training and Implementation. Ensure your staff knows how to use your RPM system effectively and begin to integrate it into your daily workflow.
  4. Enroll and Educate Patients. Identify patients who might be a good match for RPM and train them on its purpose, how to use it, and how to troubleshoot.
  5. Billing. Familiarize yourself with RPM CPT codes and the reimbursement process so you can establish a system to track and bill for RPM services.

Some of the many RPM devices and solutions you might bring to your practice include:

  • Blood glucose meters
  • Blood pressure monitors
  • Heart rate variability sensors
  • Blood oxygen level sensors
  • Smartwatches or wearables

Challenges and Considerations for RPM in Primary Care

While RPM can be a powerful tool, it’s not one without its challenges. Planning for successful RPM implementation involves anticipating these obstacles before they arise.

Challenge: Navigating RPM options can be challenging.

With dozens of devices and solutions to consider for your primary care practice, making the right choice can understandably be overwhelming.

The Solution: Work with trusted RPM devices and service providers with experience meeting your needs. Ensure that you take the time to carefully consider which RPM solutions best suit your practice’s needs.

Challenge: RPM devices can be confusing.

Using RPM technology can be frustrating or overwhelming for many patients. Unfamiliarity with how to use RPM devices might lead to errors, a lack of patient engagement, or an overall misuse of RPM technology.

The Solution: Ensure all of your patients and staff members understand how to use their respective RPM devices. Offer comprehensive training when devices are handed out and outline specific instructions for troubleshooting. It’s also wise to invest in RPM platforms that are user-friendly.

At CoachCare, we’ve designed our RPM platform and RPM devices to be easily understood and accessible. We go above and beyond by not only providing devices but also offering our team’s assistance in communicating with patients, responding to health needs, managing billing, and more. Additionally, we provide 24/7 tech support to help you meet your patients’ needs anytime.

Learn more about our RPM services to see how CoachCare can help you revolutionize your primary care practice and offer support to more patients than ever.