Remote Patient Monitoring Improves Outcomes
Southwest Center on Aging uses Remote Patient Monitoring
Dr. J. Roberto Duran III, of the Southwest Center on Aging in New Mexico, said he didn’t realize the depth of value in remote patient monitoring until COVID-19.
Duran partnered with Electronic Caregiver to implement its remote patient monitoring system in February 2020. While the system has been a benefit to him and his patients from the beginning, Duran said the pandemic propelled their use of RPM to the next level.
The Pandemic Arrived
“When the pandemic arrived, we were scared and didn’t know what to expect or what would happen. It caught us so much in surprise that even our protocols, we had to put a hold on,” Duran said. “We closed the office and had to sit down for a little bit to establish protocols. But in between, we found that we still had a lot of patients that needed to be seen, needed to be monitored, and required our services. That’s when our office expanded our chronic care management and remote patient monitoring services through Electronic Caregiver, and the feedback from our patients has been very positive.”
Duran said the Pro Health makes it easy for patients to avoid unnecessary trips to his office, where they risk becoming infected with the COVID-19. This is especially important because the Southwest Center on Aging serves the segment of the population most vulnerable to the virus – seniors and those with chronic medical conditions. “Probably a good 80 percent of the regular medical problems I deal with in my office can be done through telehealth,” Duran said.
Electronic Caregiver’s Pro Health remote patient monitoring system
Electronic Caregiver’s Pro Health system provides remote patient monitoring care from a patient’s home. It features emergency response, medication reminders, and pocketMD telemedicine. The Pro Health also pairs with several optional Bluetooth devices. These include a glucometer, blood pressure cuff, pulse oximeter, spirometer, non-contact thermometer, and weight scale.
Vitals information can be directly routed to a designated medical provider, giving them important health data for each patient in real-time. The system’s RPM dashboard alerts providers when a patient’s health falls above or below a certain threshold. Providers also get an alert when the system contacts emergency medical services (EMS) or customer service, or if the patient has not used the device within three days.
Southwest Center on Aging and Remote Patient Monitoring Results
As of July, the Southwest Center on Aging had about 109 patients enrolled in Electronic Caregiver’s Remote Patient Monitoring program. About 95 percent of those enrolled use the system daily.
“Remote patient monitoring has made things easier for me, especially when it comes to managing diabetes and blood pressure,” Duran said. “I used to have the patient check their blood pressure. They would check their sugar. Then write it down on a piece of paper. And then, show it to me. As you can imagine, some people do it, some people don’t. Some people are better than others.
“Many times, we rely on these numbers to make critical decisions when it comes to insulin adjustment or blood pressure medications,” he continued. “Being able to access these numbers through my computer or to have my nurse here letting me know some of the acute changes with these patients has definitely changed the way we address these medical problems and the way we treat our patients.” As in so many others, the Pro Health is also positively impacting results at this practice.
Pro Health has helped save a patient’s life
Esther Porter, a CCM nurse at SCOA says she has experienced events in which the Pro Health helped save a patient’s life. In one instance, Porter was alerted that a patient’s blood pressure was a little low. She called the patient’s caregiver to discuss the issue. About five minutes later, another alert came through the system. The patient’s blood pressure had dropped even lower.
Porter was alerted that the patient had fallen. “I was able to keep the patient’s caregiver on the phone. I instructed her how to use the emergency button on the Pro Health. And, we were able to get EMS there pretty quickly,” Porter explained. “The patient could have fallen and not been found for a while if the caregiver wasn’t contacted.”
The Pro Health gives patients a sense of comfort and peace of mind. It lets them know that a medical professional is keeping a close watch on their health. “I’m still checking up on patients,” Porter said. “The phone calls we make on a monthly basis, they really enjoy that because they have that connection to somebody.”
The Pro Health provides strong assistance to the team at the Southwest Center on Aging in addition to so many other resources they provide to their patients. The center is a full support system for each patient that comes through their doors.
Better Outcomes and Reduces Hospital Readmissions with remote patient monitoring
Porter recommends other physicians use Electronic Caregiver’s Remote Patient Monitoring program. It provides comprehensive patient care, better outcomes, and reduced hospital readmissions. Having patients’ health data readily available also makes it easier to share with other providers and specialists if needed. “A lot of times, the data they need is just not available. With the RPM system in place, I can provide that to them,” she said.
At Electronic Caregiver is honored to partner with practices such as SWCOA. Lives are being altered for the better and some are actually saved. Clinical staff, patients, caregivers, and patients alike all agree that the Pro Health has been a game-changer.
In addition to these benefits, RPM is payable by Medicare and Medicaid programs in some states. For information about Electronic Caregiver’s Pro Health system and it’s remote patient monitoring as well as other services, call 1-833-ECG-LIFE or reach out to a care partner near you today.