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The Impact of Remote Patient Monitoring on Hospital Readmissions for Heart Patients

By Lamar McMichael

The NIH (National Institute of Health) recently published evidence¹ regarding the health benefits and reduction of hospital readmissions when RPM (remote patient monitoring) and telemedicine are utilized for cardiac patients within 30 days of discharge.

There was a retrospective observational study that used remote generated health records of post-discharge cardiac patients and compared them to in-office post-discharge visits. These results showed that remote visits are a safe and viable alternative for cardiology post-hospitalization follow-up. For patients, remote visits offered the advantage of remaining in their homes, and not incurring the time, expense and inconvenience of multiple post-hospitalization office visits.

Because of the COVID pandemic, routine doctor office visits transitioned from in-person visits to more telemedicine visits. The effect of this transition on clinical outcomes is still being determined. However, it did make both providers and patients more comfortable with the benefits and systems of remote visits.

Prior to the pandemic, studies showed that early follow-up visits of cardiology patients discharged from the hospital caused a dramatic reduction in hospital readmission. This new study saw that remote visits and remote monitoring carried the same benefits.

The University of Virginia Medical Center at Charlottesville created a program² using RPM for patients discharge with heart failure, pneumonia, COPD, or a recent heart attack. The University Medical Center saw a reduction in 30-day or less hospital readmission down below 10% compared to a national average of 17.5% for the same conditions. 

In North Carolina, a study showed that RPM helped aging adults remain in homes after being released from skilled nursing centers. It was concluded that RPM has the potential to prevent 400,000 – 620,000 heart failure-related hospital readmissions every year.

Hospital readmissions are expensive. In 2020, the national mean cost of CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) admission was $34,000. CHF also has a high rate of readmission. One in every five patients are readmitted within 30 days. CHF patients and patients with diabetes are the two groups with the highest hospital readmission. Both or these can be well monitored through RPM.

An additional study done by the National Library of Medicine demonstrated how RPM reduced mortality, hospitalizations and it even improved the quality of life for CHF.

RPM Service Providers, like Medek RPM³, can effectively monitor and help manage blood pressure, glucose levels, blood oxygenation and weight. Through the numerous medical practices we serve, we have seen hospital readmission rates reduce from 40-70%.

Other national studies⁴ have demonstrated that when RPM is used to treat cardiac patients, hospital admissions related to heart failure are reduced by 64%. When reading the medical studies, RPM is often part of the category of telemedicine. All forms of remote treatment, remote monitoring, remote counseling, and remote diagnosis will often be simply labeled as telemedicine by academics conducting health studies. 

To better understand how your cardiac patients can have a substantially lower rate of hospital readmission, start a conversation with one of our Medek Representatives. Medek RPM is one of the fastest growing RPM companies in the US.




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