If you have hypertensive patients, you know the struggles of relying on them to monitor their blood pressure at home. They either write their blood pressure measurements on paper or their phone and then bring their readings to their next appointment. Between appointments, you have no idea if any patients need extra support or a change in medication, and you have to trust that your patients are taking consistent and accurate readings.
This is less than ideal, and it’s why some practices have turned to remote patient monitoring to help treat hypertensive patients. With this solution, patients can automatically send their readings to your office, allowing you to monitor their blood pressure in real time. But is this solution really as good as it sounds? Is there a catch?
We’ve outlined what you need to know so you can decide for yourself if RPM is right for you and your patients.
A successful program needs a dedicated staff
Remote patient monitoring can be a big change from your current hypertension care plan. And with this change, there are a few steps you’ll need to take in order to implement a successful RPM program—and they’ll require extra time and dedication from you and your staff.
You’ll need to first identify the group(s) of patients who will most benefit from RPM. Aim to enroll about 100-200 patients within a few months of launch. These first few months will require unwavering support from your RPM partner and training for your staff to help get the identified patients into the office.
Once you’ve identified and brought in a hypertensive patient who you believe could benefit from RPM, you’ll need to educate them about what RPM is and how it can help them. Specifically, you’ll want to have an onboarding appointment, during which you explain the importance of daily readings, how this data will be used and how to use the blood pressure cuff. And you’ll want to then walk them through their personalized RPM schedule and set expectations.
After the onboarding appointment, you and/or your staff will need to monitor each patient daily as well as have one live, interactive call with them once per month. And you’ll need to communicate with them if the readings are abnormal.
For RPM to be most effective, it takes one full-time clinician to monitor about 150-250 patients. However, if this is an issue for your practice, look for a partner who also provides a Managed Care program with licensed nurses who can handle the monitoring for you, reducing your workload.
Better health outcomes because of better insights
The greatest benefit of RPM is that it helps patients better manage their hypertension. Patients who monitor their blood pressure regularly are more likely to adhere to their treatment plan and take their prescribed medications.
We know RPM works. Patients who used PatientPoint Remote Patient Monitoring services experienced a five-point decrease in systolic blood pressure in just three months and a seven-point decrease in six months. In an American Heart Association study, participants who received remote care had fewer strokes, heart attacks, stent placements and heart failure hospitalizations than those without remote care.
Using RPM, you can help your patients lead healthier lifestyles and get their blood pressure under control with daily monitoring and proactive health coaching. You’ll be able to spot trends over time and intervene with changes to their medication or treatment plan as needed.
If a patient has an irregular reading out of the office, you can contact them and get them the help they need in an appropriate timeframe. Whereas, if you only looked at a patient’s blood pressure when they came to the office, you might miss trends and not catch hypertensive crises.