Population Health Insights

Tracking Objective & Subjective Patient Data with Remote Patient Management


By collecting a rich variety of patient data, remote patient management (RPM) has the capacity to improve patient care in a number of innovative ways:

The types of data that can be gathered with RPM are varied, abundant, and unique. In a recent video from the RPM Academy, Care Innovations® Chief Clinical Officer Julie Cherry (RN, MSN) classifies these two sources of RPM data gathering: objective and subjective data.

What’s the difference? Objective patient data involves measurable facts and information like vital signs or the results of a physical examination. Subjective patient data, according to Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, “are retrieved from” a “description of an event rather than from a physical examination.”

And with remote patient management, both types of patient data are not only available but, with the right program in place, abundant.

How RPM Tracks Objective and Subjective Patient Data

RPM is specially designed to offer much objective patient data — the vital signs that are captured remotely, then provided to a doctor or caregiver. Vital signs are monitored via “passive sensors, sensors in the home, activity monitors, some of those implantable devices are now becoming more and more capable,” as Julie puts it in the video.

VIDEO: Objective/Subjective Patient Data & RPM

Yet subjective patient data — the descriptions offered by patients, and/or by their families and loved ones — is also central to the success of remote patient management.

“How are you feeling today?” Julie asks. “Just being able to ask simple questions like that — but then also, being able to look at using passive sensors to track ADLs and IADLS” (i.e., “activities of daily living”).

Julie goes on to offer examples of key questions caregivers can ask to gain insight into subjective patient data points:

  • How often is the patient opening the refrigerator? They say they're eating … but are they really? And at the right times?
  • Is the patient sleeping okay at night? “Gee, you look at night motion and you find that this patient is up 10 times during the night.” Does that suggest a urinary tract infection? “Maybe they've got a UTI because now they've got six nighttime visits to the bathroom.”

“There's lots and lots of data that can be captured with remote patient management models in mind,” says Julie, “the activities of daily living, the vital signs, and the more broad, more important things like how do you feel today?

Learn more about how RPM data can help your organization improve care delivery: Contact a Care Innovations representative now for your complimentary consultation. And don’t forget to check out theCare Innovations RPM Academy for more videos highlighting the many benefits of remote patient management.

View More Telehealth Videos at the Care Innovations RPM Academy