Industry Trends RPM

How RPM Can Help Build Trust in the Healthcare System

Optimize Health | 17 June 2022
3 minute read

In February, we blogged about Black History Month’s focus on Black Health and Wellness and how remote patient monitoring (RPM) could be a powerful force in increasing Black Health and Wellness. In honor of Juneteenth, we explore how remote patient monitoring (RPM) can empower individuals, particularly Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) to become more engaged in their own health. We believe RPM can build trust between patients and providers and improve health outcomes for all.

Improving Relationships with Providers to Build Trust in the Healthcare System

While the general population in the United States has expressed a lack of trust in the healthcare system, studies have shown that people place more trust in their primary care providers than in the overall healthcare system. Hesitancy towards the system can lead people to avoid preventative and necessary care which can ultimately lead to worse outcomes. An opportunity exists to strengthen the relationship between patients and primary care providers as a first step in beginning to build trust in the overall system. The increased patient engagement associated with RPM could be one avenue to improving this relationship.

The Impact of Improving Healthcare Trust in the African American Community

While the death rate for African Americans is decreasing, there are still substantial opportunities to improve the health of African Americans, particularly with the diagnosis and management of chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. African Americans do have higher rates of chronic diseases at younger ages – delaying or avoiding preventative care and treatment may contribute to these statistics.

The impact of how African Americans are treated by the healthcare system can be significant and the causes complex:

  • Numerous studies have documented that African Americans are undertreated for pain relative to white Americans
  • 50% of residents and medical students believe at least one false fact about the biological differences between African American and white patients, such as African Americans have a high pain threshold than white Americans
  • Patients of color are more likely to have longer wait times and lower triage scores for the same symptoms in the Emergency Room
  • According to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 60% of African Americans trust their doctors most of the time compared to 80% of white Americans. 56% of African Americans trust the local hospitals compared to 70% of white Americans
  • 20% of African Americans report they received unfair treatment when receiving healthcare in the last year, including 37% of African American mothers.
    • 19% of African Americans reported a healthcare provider refused to provide a needed test or treatment compared to 12% of white Americans
    • 18% of African Americans reported a healthcare provider refused to provide pain medication compared to 13% of white Americans
    • 22% of African Americans reported not being believed by a healthcare provider compared to 17% of white Americans
    • 21% of African Americans state it is difficult to find a provider that “treats them with dignity and respect” compared with 14% of white Americans

How Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) Can Help

Gaining a patient of color’s trust can be difficult, given our country’s history as well as the current implicit bias that exists in many healthcare settings. RPM can provide a unique opportunity to build trust with patients as it shifts control of managing care away from the “system” and literally into the patient’s own hands and home.

RPM can also help overcome many of the social determinants of health that impact access to affordable healthcare. RPM devices can be shipped to a patient and care can be delivered via phone calls. For most RPM devices, WiFi isn’t even a requirement as many devices work on any cellular network.

Many Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) are beginning to offer RPM services as they recognize the power of this technology to connect with patients that may otherwise be hard to reach and reluctant to seek out care.

Ready to Learn More?

We are happy to share more details on how RPM can help improve patient access to preventative care and health outcomes. We welcome the opportunity to help FQHCs and healthcare providers manage their high-risk populations with RPM as we strive to provide high-quality care to all. Set up a time to learn more.