Hypertension, otherwise called the “silent killer” because of its propensity to exist asymptomatically for several years, is a significant cause of premature death worldwide. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicate that 47% of adults (116 million) in the United States either display high systolic or diastolic blood pressure (BP) or are taking medication to manage hypertension. Remote patient monitoring services enable physicians to provide better care to existing and potential BP sufferers, while simultaneously improving practice profitability.
Challenges Facing Providers
Caring for the vast number of patients diagnosed with hypertension is already a tall order for most physicians. The added requirement to identify patients at risk of future hypertension problems can seem overwhelming, especially when taken in the context of the prevalence of chronic illnesses facing the U.S. Challenges include:
- Burnout: The Medscape Physician Burnout & Depression Report 2022: Stress, Anxiety and Anger shows a high percentage of physicians suffering from burnout. Many are either operating at full capacity or are already overextended.
- Non-Adherence: Around 50% of patients don’t adhere to treatment for chronic conditions, compared with the benchmark of 80% adherence needed for optimal therapeutic efficacy. Factors contributing to medication non-adherence include lack of financial means, transportation difficulties, forgetfulness, and a lack of understanding.
- Lack of Compliance: Patients’ non-compliance with healthy lifestyle factors resulting from a lack of encouragement, motivation, and family support. Compared with normotensives, research shows hypertensive people are more likely to have lower dietary adherence scores and reduced ability to follow dietary recommendations.
These challenges increase patients’ risk of complications such as heart attack and stroke. Once a patient experiences a hypertensive crisis, life expectancy drops after the event and their risk increases for multiple other medical conditions.
Overcoming the Challenges
The use of health monitoring devices can help healthcare providers overcome many of the challenges associated with managing hypertension. Remote patient monitoring (RPM) increases patients’ treatment adherence and reduces the risk of complications, for several reasons:
- Biometric monitoring devices transmit data back to the provider, ensuring a reliable blood pressure record.
- Automated medication reminders help patients adhere to the treatment plan.
- Symptom surveys require patients to enter information about their symptoms, which helps providers understand the patterns and trends behind their condition.
- Educational materials, which help patients understand how to control their BP at home and the actions they should take to improve their outcomes.
- Virtual visits that help bridge the gap by enabling patients and providers to connect and communicate in real time if a blood pressure reading requires medical attention, symptoms get worse, or the patient has questions about their condition.
With RPM healthcare providers can reduce their daily in-person patient caseload, while generating additional revenue through reimbursement for every patient added to the system.
Additional Benefits of Remote Patient Monitoring Services
Providers also enjoy additional benefits by introducing remote patient monitoring services for their practices. Some of these include:
Enhanced Patient Insights
These result from the collection of data from patients at home. The data is transmitted directly from the health monitoring devices to a healthcare professional. It can even be set up to integrate automatically with the electronic health record, minimizing the administrative burden further. Notifications about abnormal BP readings or treatment non-compliance enable providers to prioritize interventions for at-risk patients.
Faster, Better Clinical Actions
Research has proved that using remote patient monitoring services and the data generated helps providers take better clinical actions faster. A study of 552 alerts among 162 patients allowed clinicians to act on 343 (62.1%) of them within a three-day period. Actions ranged from assessing medication adherence to verifying BP measurements, providing lifestyle counseling, answering patient concerns, to scheduling medication adjustments.
Proactive Care Planning and Management
Most physicians dream of the day they can implement proactive care planning and management for patients at risk of hypertension. Remote patient monitoring services finally make this possible. RPM healthcare gives providers more opportunities to connect and collaborate with patients and more chances to reinforce healthy choices and lifestyles.
The data collection and transmission options provided by RPM are essential. However, many RPM configurations also include communication. allows providers or nurses to contact patients when necessary, either via video or with a phone call, to discuss any issues that arise.
Forward to the Future
As Remote Patient Monitoring services become more widely implemented in physician practices, it’s likely to become an integral part of healthcare management an. Since hypertension can affect the heart, kidneys, and other organs, and cause a wide range of medical conditions, remote patient monitoring services give providers new opportunities to improve patient health, reduce healthcare costs, and boost clinical outcomes.