With its demonstrated power to improve patient care and reduce operational costs, remote patient management (RPM) represents a revolutionary opportunity for healthcare organizations to shift to a system of care delivery that’s more oriented toward the value-based model.
And, as with implementing any transformative new system, the deployment of a new RPM program can bring with it, along with its well-known benefits to healthcare organizations, a number of challenges, too.
In a video from the Care Innovations® RPM Academy, our telehealth experts identify some of the most prevalent of these challenges, and explain how they can be overcome. Their advice breaks down to two key points:
- The importance of identifying specific goals and expected outcomes, leading to measurable results and actionable insights
- The importance of adequate resourcing and planning ahead of program deployment, which involves proper staffing and training
In other words, for the implementation of a successful RPM program, an organization first needs to define what it’s trying to accomplish, and then commit the necessary resources to meeting those goals.
RPM Program Challenge #1: Defining Goals & Outcomes
First thing’s first: To ensure RPM program success, goals and metrics must be defined. But how is that done?
“Some of the common challenges in development and deployment of a remote patient management program are really the answer to a bunch of basic questions,” explains Care Innovations Program Executive Barbara Fullmer in the video.
“Who are the patients we're trying to reach? What are the goals that the customer has — are we reducing hospitalizations? Are we reducing readmissions? Are we improving adherence to H1C values? What are those metrics that we're trying to manage? What are the signals going to be to us that we're successful or not?”
Care Innovations Chief Financial Officer Bryan Pruden elaborates: “You want to clearly specify the outcome that you expect so that you can manage to it.”
RPM Program Challenge #2: Proper Planning & Resourcing
However, our experts also emphasize that, as important as it is to define expectations as early as possible, planning for success also means giving yourself the flexibility to shift those goals to meet new possibilities. These are opportunities that may not be apparent at first, but which can become clearer as your RPM program progresses.
“Once you're in the implementation, you want to make sure that you, on a regular basis, are reviewing the healthier program and that you're continuing to get more operationally efficient in accomplishing those goals you set out in the beginning,” Bryan suggests.
“Often, because of the flexibility of our tool, the customer realizes that there's a much bigger value proposition for them than they may have initially thought,” Barbara adds. “They may have initially thought, I'm only worried about blood glucose level. But once they realize that we can help them manage weight overall, we can help them manage sodium intake, we can help them manage any one of a number of different symptoms or signs of disease exacerbation, [then] often that program becomes much more rewarding, and much more detailed for the customer.”
Bryan talks about how this level of planning is facilitated by resourcing. “You want to make sure that you have adequately planned out the program for implementation,” he explains, “and that you've adequately resourced it. If you have that, then you will be able to have a very smooth implementation.”
The challenges of RPM implementation, then, can be overcome largely with appropriate planning and resourcing. And this underlines the importance of choosing a remote program management program provider with not only the expertise to foresee these problems, but with the experience to overcome them, too.
In other words, a quality RPM service partner will be equipped to help you answer these questions in a way that helps you meet and define your goals. On top of that, your service provider should also be available to help confront any challenges that may arise during and after RPM program implementation.
Learn more about how choosing the right RPM program provider can help you overcome the most common challenges of program implementation: Contact us today to arrange a complimentary consultation with a Care Innovations telehealth specialist.