Population Health Insights

What RPM Means for Doctors, Nurses & the Primary Care Shortage


Remote patient management (RPM) is a breakthrough in healthcare delivery that leverages leading technology and patient engagement practices to transfer the bulk of patient care from the hospital to the home.

To this end, RPM has proven effective at not only improving patient comfort, engagement and satisfaction and but also in reducing hospitalizations and readmittance rates (see, for example, early results from the Mississippi Diabetes Telehealth Network).

Given this success, might there also be cause for concern among nurses, doctors, and other clinicians that RPM will make them obsolete?

Far from it: “Remote patient management isn't about replacing doctors and nurses,” says Consumer Experience Expert Karissa Price-Rico, PhD in a video from the Care Innovations® RPM Academy. “It's about supplementing the great work that clinicians do today with additional information and additional interaction points with patients, to provide better care.”

VIDEO: Will RPM Replace Doctors & Nurses?

3 Ways that RPM Supplements the Work of Doctors, Nurses & Clinicians

There are three great reasons for clinicians to embrace the widespread adoption of RPM:

  1. RPM supplements the work of clinicians with additional interaction and easier access to information
  2. RPM enables physicians and nurses to interact with patients more conveniently and effectively
  3. RPM may help ease the doctor shortage by allowing more clinicians to care for more patients, more effectively, eliminating the barriers of distance and cross-state care

In the video, Care Innovations® Chief Operating Officer Marcus Grindstaff explains how remote care can enable nurses and physicians to interact on a more active basis with their patients, no matter the distances involved.

“It really enhances a clinician's ability to reach out to their patients, to interact with their patients, in an environment which is the preferred environment for the patient,” he says.

What’s more, RPM can actually improve the lives of doctors and clinicians by easing some of the more onerous aspects of their work — for instance, reducing the time it takes to meet in-person with an overwhelming amount of patients.

When meetings with patients are more effective and more conveniently timed, doctors and nurses can see more patients, more effectively — without any sacrifice in quality or attentiveness. And that has implications for the nation’s ongoing primary care shortage, as well.

How RPM Can Help Ease the Primary Care Shortage

“There is a shortage of doctors and nurses, primarily primary care doctors and nurses across the board,” says Karissa. “Remote patient management actually is an answer to that problem and to those shortages.”

Karissa goes on to explain a scenario:

“That primary care doctor who's in short supply today can actually be brought into [contact with] those patients on the program when needed, but isn't having to spend time seeing people who really don't need their attention and can focus on the people that do.”

Again, recent clinical studies show that patients achieve real results with RPM, and to be enormously happy with their RPM programs, to boot. And strengthening the bond between the patient and caregiver is widely credited as one of the principal foundations of this success.

So, an effective RPM program doesn’t replace doctors, nurses and clinicians, but actually empowers them, and strengthens their relationships with their patients. Just as ever, doctors, nurses and practitioners who excel in their professions will continue to be in demand.

RPM can indeed help “overcome, as a healthcare system, the shortages we have of doctors and nurses today,” as Karissa concludes in the video.

“But by no means is it ever going to replace them — nor would we want it to — because they're an integral part of remote patient management programs today, and they will remain so in the future.”

VIDEO: Will RPM Replace Doctors & Nurses?

We invite you to learn more about how RPM can help supplement the work of nurses and doctors: Contact a Care Innovations representative for more information. And don’t forget to check out the Care Innovations RPM Academy for more videos highlighting the wide variety of benefits offered by remote patient management.

View More Telehealth Videos at the Care Innovations RPM Academy