Remote patient monitoring, sometimes called remote physiology or electronic patient monitoring, is the application of electronic technology to monitor and record health and medical information from multiple patients using radiofrequency technology and transmit this data electronically to health care professionals for analysis and, if necessary, directions and recommendations.

It is an invaluable tool in the care of our most complex patients who may have complex diseases that require prompt medical attention. The concept behind this type of monitoring is not simply to provide access to the most sophisticated technology available, but rather to foster greater collaboration between health care professionals and their patients.

When properly applied, this technology can improve the quality of care while simultaneously reducing administrative costs and avoiding some of the costly mistakes that are commonly made in the home health care industry. Here are some of the most helpful tips on how to keep your remote patient monitoring system running smoothly.

If your system allows it, make sure you install and use HIPAA-compliant equipment and software. HIPAA, or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, defines the types of personal health information that health care providers must ensure is protected at all times. Software that complies with HIPAA standards can make your system more efficient by ensuring you receive and process accurate data, eliminating the possibility of patient negligence or unauthorized disclosures of sensitive personal information. Some tips for choosing the right equipment and software include these reminders:

Most health care systems allow providers to obtain pre-certification for acute and chronic conditions. While this may sound helpful, it also means that many patients who visit your office may already be in advanced stages of illness. Don’t assume that a condition only present in the patient’s youth is appropriate for regular monitoring.

This could indicate that the illness could become more serious, or even life-threatening, should the patient continue to experience the same symptoms. Instead, consider obtaining both a chronic condition report and a health risk report, which identify possible chronic and acute problems early on in the patient’s case.

Some facilities are beginning to provide telemetry to patients’ laptops. Telemetry is a useful feature for remote patient monitoring because it gives healthcare facilities a way to find out if a patient is experiencing any adverse side effects from their medications.

Hospitals and treatment centers have to carefully monitor their patients’ drug interactions so they don’t present a threat to themselves or the public. In some cases, adverse drug reactions can be fatal. By monitoring a patient’s dosage levels, a healthcare facility can cut back on the number of drugs they give patients, as well as the amount of medication that they require to maintain the status quo.

Another good CoachCare remote patient monitoring option is to utilize electronic health data transfer. This method enables health information exchange between remote monitoring centers and healthcare providers. Electronic health data transfer can reduce lag time between when medical data is received or transmitted, and when the information is used promptly.

For example, an EMR system could allow doctors to access and read pertinent data regarding a patient’s asthma attacks, in real-time, without having to wait for the health provider to contact them. EMR has also proven useful for coordinating health care efforts and has significantly improved communication between doctors and patients.