As care continues to move to the home, connected medical devices such as glucose meters, blood pressure monitors, pulse oximeters, weight scales, thermometers, and wearables have become a vital part of healthcare’s virtual care strategies. One of the biggest challenges organizations face with remote patient monitoring (RPM) programs is getting patients onboarded, enrolled, and supported. Organizations must consider how the programs they roll out on day one will scale across multiple specialties, disease states, and population sizes with varying needs, support staff, and technical capabilities.
During the first installment of Validic’s Best Practices Webinar Series, Brian Carter, COO of Validic, and Seth Staton, Vice President of Virtual Care at CareMore discussed their Best Practices to Set-Up, Launch, and Scale Remote Patient Monitoring.
For Brian Carter, he’s seen that the most successful organizations have a clear sense of why they are investing in RPM and digital health. That clarity, codified with initial program objectives, is something he says is important to setting the trajectory of the program and improving its likely durability.
“I can’t tell you how many calls I have where people say the reason they’re interested in RPM is that they feel like they need to do this,” said Carter. “If that’s the initiator, the [program] is never going to grow legs and run. So, sitting down and defining objectives upfront is probably the most important thing to do before you start.”
After the initial program set up, organizations can often find themselves stuck when it comes time to scale their solution to reach more patients or cover new use cases. At this stage, Carter says it becomes even more necessary to have engagement, deployment, and support tools that can be tailored to different needs across the population.
“People with high-risk conditions or at high risk of near-term admissions or exacerbation of their conditions and don’t have a lot of technical skill or interest… can be perfect candidates for a pre-configured kit or even an in-home-set-up service. If we’re educating someone, maybe in their mid-40’s, who just got diagnosed with their first chronic condition and their risk is fairly low… that type of use-case is best for a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) type of approach,” said Carter.
These factors were critical for Seth Staton and his team when they chose to revamp their existing RPM program. The organization wanted the redesigned program to support broader program scope for disease and population types, increased program participation volume, refined clinical workflows, and enhanced technology and logistics support including the ability to support device kits and BYOD. The redesign began by defining their target population.
“Our virtual care programs must be simple and accessible to serve a population that skews complex, frail, and lower socioeconomic,” said Staton. “Targeting the right type of patient and creating a program for those patients is one of the best ways we’ve found to be successful at virtual care.”
Seth then reiterated the importance of setting goals early in the program design process. He discussed how setting those core targets allowed his team to refine their decisions about what technology, vendors, and deployment models to pursue.
“Pre-COVID, we were hardly tracking anything in terms of our video visits. Now we have the goal of doing 40% of our visits virtually … the technology that supports that shift is really critical,” said Staton. “So, I really agree about thinking integration at a systems-level first before you make decisions about niche vendors or pilots. We do pilots as well, but we always do it with a roadmap and an eye toward how does this scale for our population.”
When it comes to scaling RPM and condition management programs — Carter says his experience with Validic’s clients has shown him an early focus on desired outcomes for scalability is crucial. That focus allows organizations to implement the best practices and workflows required to accommodate and sustain that future growth.
“It all depends on how you define success,” says Carter. “If your organization is interested in a short-term proof-of-concept or needs to stand something up really quickly, a stand-alone model might be appropriate. If you want the ability to scale a program across the enterprise, integrating into the EHR or care management solution provides that path and the workflow your team needs [in the long term].”
This conversation was the first of the four-part Validic’s Best Practices webinar series — register for free to hear more best practices and insights from industry leaders during our upcoming sessions.
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