LMH Health recently launched Remote Patient Monitoring, an innovative new program to better serve patients with chronic and uncontrolled illnesses at home.
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is simple: patients use a digital medical device at home to regularly capture their health data, such as weight, heart rate, blood pressure or blood sugar. The device connects to an app on their smartphone, which sends this data in real time to the patient’s provider for review and intervention if necessary.
The RPM program is another step toward the preventive health care model that LMH Health has adapted over the past decade, said Janette Kirkpatrick, vice president of clinical excellence at LMH Health.
“RPM makes healthcare more accessible to patients,” said Kirkpatrick. “With regular monitoring of a patient’s condition, providers are able to immediately recognize a problem and work with the patient to correct it. This will prevent individuals from ending up in more serious emergencies and ultimately reduce the cost of an individual’s health care.
Am I eligible to participate in the RPM?
RPM is part of LMH Health’s Population Health Management Program, which focuses on improving health outcomes for specific groups through patient engagement and care coordination.
LMH Health’s RPM program currently focuses on patients with or at risk of chronic or uncontrolled diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and heart failure. LMH Health plans to expand the program to monitor other diseases as more patients enroll in the program.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 6 out of 10 adults in the United States have one chronic disease, while 4 out of 10 adults have two or more chronic conditions.
To help uninsured patients and those unable to afford RPM fees, the LMH Health Foundation provides donor funds to cover costs.
“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve realized the value of remote services,” Kirkpatrick said. “The RPM is a vital way for LMH Health to ensure access to quality health care for all members of the community.”
How does RPM work?
The health data collected by the devices is transmitted directly to the patient’s file. Significant changes in health status – such as too high blood pressure – trigger a notification to the provider who can review the result in real time and call the patient to check in.
Caitlin Bowlin, RN
Caitlin Bowlin, RN, is the LMH Health nurse who actively monitors patients enrolled in RPM. She reaches out to patients when their condition changes and communicates with their primary care physicians or other specialists as needed.
Bowlin, who previously worked 10 years in emergency nursing, said the shift to a preventive care-focused role was a positive change for her.
“I’m used to dealing with people who come into the hospital because they’re sick,” Bowlin said. “Working on the RPM program is amazing – we detect things early and are able to intervene when we see that an individual’s health trends are going in the wrong direction. We hope this will completely reduce unnecessary visits and hospitalizations. »
Effective and efficient health care
Although LMH Health’s RPM program has only been around for a few months, Bowlin has already seen the benefits.
“Patients feel cared for, knowing someone is watching their health,” Bowlin said. “People really like that one-on-one care and having an additional provider they can contact when needed.”
Dr. Gregory Schnose, internal medicine group physician and director of population health at LMH Health, said PMR can make health care for chronic conditions more effective and efficient.
For example, diabetic patients who regularly monitor their blood sugar will write their numbers in a diary and review it with their doctor during an appointment. However, appointments are usually three months apart, which can be a long time.
Patient monitoring devices
“With RPM, data is automatically sent to our care team and continually reviewed,” Dr. Schnose said. “Questions are answered faster and adjustments to medication, diet or lifestyle can already be made before the patient’s next visit. This way, the patient can get a head start in terms of controlling their disease.
Malwina Zastawna, head of population health at LMH Health, oversees the RPM program and believes it engages patients in new and meaningful ways.
“We want patients to be their own advocate and at the center of their care team,” Zastawna said. “By signing up for this program, people are saying, ‘Yes, I want to take a more active role in my healthcare.'”
LMH Health’s population health team sees RPM as a way to meet people where they are. The remote care provided by RPM helps overcome a significant barrier to healthcare: transportation.
“Some patients find it difficult to get to the doctor due to lack of transportation or frailty,” Dr. Schnose said. “Others may simply avoid the visit. RPM helps us solve this problem and make it easier for patients to get the care they need.”
Kirkpatrick said RPM is also a great resource for patients living further away from LMH Health or in rural areas.
“We talk a lot about our patients taking ownership or actively participating in their health care,” Kirkpatrick said. “RPM allows them to truly be a partner in the care our providers provide.”
To participate in LMH Health’s RPM program, a patient must have a primary care provider at one of LMH Health’s clinics. If you want to use RPM to manage your health, please contact your provider.
“I hope our national health system will shift more toward preventive care like we are doing at LMH Health,” Bowlin said. “RPM is one of the building blocks of this shift to preventive medicine.”