Remote patient monitoring (RPM) can be a highly effective care model that reduces readmissions, improves health outcomes, and influences better patient experience and satisfaction measures – but only when the right tools are used. Healthcare organizations must start building a strong program by considering what types of RPM devices are necessary to support patients and track their specific conditions. But ultimately, the data those devices gather is nothing without a platform that organizes and visualizes the information so clinicians can analyze and use it to inform decision-making.
The journey to finding the best remote patient monitoring software starts with understanding what sets the leading solutions apart. To streamline this process and help you identify the right vendor to partner with, we’ve compiled some of the top features to look for in RPM software.
Key RPM software features
The most in-demand remote patient monitoring software features provide a variety of benefits, from simplifying the work of the clinicians using it to keeping organizations secure and compliant to improving patient engagement in healthcare. Here’s what the top remote patient monitoring companies are offering in the market today.
Open API that integrates with EHR software
Ideally, RPM software should easily integrate, connect, and interoperate with an organization’s existing electronic health record (EHR) technology. This can help centralize and organize patient data, make it more accessible, and enable other applications to leverage the data effectively.
With this in mind, look for RPM software that has an open API (application programming interface) and supports widely used integration standards, like HL7. EHR integration ensures that RPM data — such as patient vital signs and demographic information — feeds directly into your EHR, syncs in near real time, and automatically ties back to RPM medical codes.
Vendors that have large partner networks and experience using a variety of integration engines can help ensure seamless RPM software deployments, so this is a must to consider.
Customizable interface for caseload management
The best remote patient monitoring software should help clinicians better manage massive amounts of data in ways that streamline care. For example, a customizable interface for caseload management can enable care providers to organize patients with groups, tags, filters, assigned users, and more.
This customizability can help organizations tailor caseload formatting and workflows, standardizing the process across the board and making it easier to understand for each user.
Data analytics and dashboards
RPM devices collect huge quantities of data, but data isn’t helpful if it can’t be visualized. Some RPM software solutions come with built-in data analytics features that assist the care team in identifying and tracking trends in a patient’s condition over time. These include predictive modeling capabilities and data visualization dashboards that provide decision support and the ability to view trends with ease.
Central hub for device management
When RPM software integrates with an organization’s EHR, it can create a central access point from which providers can manage multiple patients at once. Similarly, RPM software can form a central hub for devices, making it easy to manage those devices at scale.
With a central device hub, providers can keep track of how many devices they have and which ones are currently with patients. It also simplifies the process of adding new devices or sending a device to a patient to track additional vitals or conditions.
Smart alerts for providers
Software with an alerts management system can be configured with a healthcare organization’s triage and escalation protocols. When certain thresholds or trends are detected, the system will notify trained nurses and physicians either through a preferred communication method or via the EHR system. This empowers providers to immediately reach out and check on patients.
The ability to alert nurses and physicians as soon as a certain threshold has been exceeded makes this one of the best remote patient monitoring software features — it can help the care team provide escalation services or even preempt an acute event.
Patient engagement tools
Patient engagement in healthcare is crucial — when a patient understands their condition and how to care for it, they may feel more ownership and control over their own care journey.
According to a review published in the Journal of Patient Experience, engaging patients in collaborative care, shared decision-making with their providers, and chronic disease self-management can improve health outcomes and lead to increased functioning, reduced pain, and decreases in care costs. Self-efficacy in the form of increasing patient responsibility and motivating patients to take more control of their health management can also improve patients’ quality of life, especially in chronic cases.
As such, the best remote patient monitoring software should provide patient engagement tools to help foster these outcomes. These tools can be anything from audio and video communications that allow patients and providers to meet remotely to systems that send regular reminders to patients about taking their medication, encouraging adherence to treatment plans.
RPM solutions can collect a potentially overwhelming amount of data, especially when used for 24/7 continuous monitoring. Providers can review this data in near real time, but the best remote patient monitoring software should also produce automatic reports that provide the care team with digestible summaries of patient data on a regular basis.
RPM reports may include everything from trends in a patient’s condition to abnormal events and factors that could be influencing their health. These reports can be customized to the user — for example, a simplified version for patients and a more comprehensive version for providers.
Encryption and data security
In an increasingly complex threat landscape, a top priority for all healthcare organizations must be to ensure all data is secure. Healthcare data is highly sensitive and breaches are rampant. As such, healthcare institutions should only partner with remote patient monitoring companies that show a commitment to data security.
A few key security features to look for:
- Encrypted communications (including both patient and internal messaging)
- Security certifications (such as ISO 13485 and ISO 27001)
- Comprehensive information security and risk management policies and controls
Healthcare software and hardware (including RPM devices) must adhere to a variety of compliance standards and regulations. Navigating this regulatory landscape can be difficult, but the best RPM vendors should make it easy for organizations to find out how they meet compliance, including if they embed it in their solutions.
Look for certifications like HITRUST, HIPAA and FDA compliance, and robust privacy policies that aim to keep all personal data protected and confidential.
Multi-stream reimbursement and billing support
The best software automates tedious manual tasks, like inputting billing codes for reimbursement. The best remote patient monitoring software will support multi-stream reimbursement and automatically tie tasks done within the system back to predefined RPM medical codes.
This automates and simplifies billing, saving time on manual inputs and making it easier to scale RPM services as well as adjust codes as they change year to year.
Investigate support offered by remote patient monitoring companies
These features can fuel faster and more informed decision-making, elevating the care experience for patients and empowering providers to focus on value-based care first. But understanding what features are important is only part of the equation.
As a review in the International Journal of Health Policy and Management notes, implementing RPM within a continuum of care requires coordination and communication between partners and full consideration of the involved RPM technology — from software to devices and beyond. As such, healthcare organizations should place equal emphasis on finding and collaborating with the right partner in addition to vetting RPM software and hardware.
When selecting the best remote patient monitoring software, look for these features and ask vendors for a complete rundown of how they work in practice to ensure a comprehensive solution that will meet provider, payer, and patient needs.
Curious to see if CareSimple’s RPM solutions are right for your needs? Schedule a demo today.