A recurring point of resistance against widespread implementation of remote patient management (RPM) is the prospect of changing existing clinical workflows.
It’s an important point, and an understandable one. Hospitals and healthcare delivery organizations of all shapes and sizes have endured continuous workflow overhauls in recent years — from implementing electronic health/medical records (HER/EMH) and complying with HIPAA to simply staying up to speed with communications and administrative technology, many organizations have dealt with a constant change to their clinical workflows over the past decade.
“From a technology perspective, most of our clients have some sort of EHR or system of record that they're using already,” explains Consumer Experience Expert Karissa Price-Rico, PhD in a video from the Care Innovations® RPM Academy. “And they don't want their clinicians to double enter information, whether it's enrolling a patient into the program and having to re-key in all of that patient demographic information, to actually being able to capture and put back into an EHR the vital signs and the information from their remote patient management program.
RPM & Clinical Workflows: The WHY
RPM and telehealth represent a transformative delivery model for healthcare — i.e., a means to:
- Empower patients to engage with and thereby better their health
- Enable clinicians to treat more patients, more efficiently, with less hassle and burnout
- Give organizations the means to improve efficiency while cutting costs
Given the extent of these improvements, clinical workflow overhaul will be inevitable to some extent—as well as desirable. As a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Associationconcluded, “revamping the established workflow for diabetes management” to integrate a RPM application “was a key aspect of our increased efficiency; by doing so we successfully decreased the time needed to notify patients for laboratory work by approximately ten-fold.”
The authors understand that the power of RPM is best harnessed when considered as an engine for continuous clinical workflow improvement: “Our goals are to continue to optimize the RPM application by increasing care coordination features,” the authors note.
“We hope that our experiences presented here will encourage others who are implementing similar registries to pay attention to workflow redesign as they design their registries,” they add.
RPM & Clinical Workflows: The HOW
But it’s also important to note that these workflow updates need not be painful, but should in fact be designed to improve the routine and daily life of the clinicians upon whom your care delivery rests.
Effective RPM service providers like Care Innovations take great pains to ensure this. With all implementations, a specialized, dedicated team works to understand as best as possible not only the patient population, but the clinicians as well, and how they deliver care.
“We work with our clients to create those integrated workflows from the beginning, so that it minimizes the necessity for clinicians to have to do double entry and to have to work extra hard to be able to implement one of these programs,” as Karissa notes in the RPM Academy video.
“You want to choose a technology partner who is going to spend the time really understanding how you deliver care,” adds Julie Cherry (RN, MSN), Care Innovations Chief Clinical Officer.
“Let's look at your population. Who are you struggling with managing? Who's costing you the most? Who's most in need? This remote patient management program needs to become integrated into your organization and your workflow in order for it to be successful.”
And getting the right answers to these questions means engaging with physicians and clinicians as well as patients and administrators.
“Physician partnership and collaboration to develop RPM technologies is absolutely necessary to improve workflow, efficiency, and most importantly, effect a beneficial change in patient outcomes,” as the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) notes in an examination of common RPM adoption barriers.
“At Care Innovations, we're strong believers that clinicians are people too,” as Karissa puts it. “And we take that approach to how we design our programs with our clients.”
Learn more about how can the integration of remote patient management can improve your existing clinical workflows: Contact Care Innovations today to schedule a complementary consultation.