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Decreased Workload Industry Trends RPM

Can chronic disease management programs decrease workload?

Beth Osborne | 30 January 2024
6 minute read

Chronic conditions are becoming more prevalent, with 6 in 10 adults having one and 4 in 10 having two or more. Managing these conditions to drive healthier outcomes is the goal of any physician or practice. However, the successful deployment of chronic disease management programs can involve many barriers. One is the lack of internal resources to facilitate and maintain such programs in fear of the increased workload.

The right program removes these obstacles and can actually decrease the workload for your team. Learn how the right chronic disease management platform provides this in this post.

What is a chronic disease management program?

Chronic disease management programs involve various strategies, technology, and processes to improve patients’ health proactively. The strain of chronic diseases in the healthcare system involves significant costs, totaling $3.7 trillion each year. In addition to this growing expense, care teams today must navigate treatments and recommendations without visibility into patients’ conditions beyond the clinic walls.

To bridge this gap, healthcare organizations use chronic disease management programs that include remote patient monitoring (RPM). This is the cornerstone of any chronic disease management solution, providing daily insights into vitals through connected devices for conditions like: 

  • Hypertension and congestive heart failure (CHF)
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Chronic kidney disease (CKD)

With the data automatically transmitted from RPM devices to the platform, physicians have more information to drive treatment decisions. Robust management of chronic diseases requires many components, but that doesn’t mean your workload will double. Let’s look at how the best programs decrease it and reduce the chance of burnout.

How a program for chronic disease management reduces workload

The ecosystem of chronic disease management encompasses many things that require administration and coordination, including:

  • RPM software setup and workflows
  • Identifying patients who are good candidates
  • Determining insurance eligibility
  • Onboarding of patients 
  • Educating patients
  • Delivering RPM devices
  • Daily monitoring of vitals and patient engagement
  • Highly trained clinical monitoring team
  • Billing and coding guidance

With so many elements, it can be overwhelming for any clinician, from small practices to large healthcare systems. The right programs empower you with data and allow you to focus on the most high-risk patients without adding additional workload.

User-friendly technology is a must.

Many challenges are solvable with technology when it’s intuitive and easy for both care teams and patients. In fact, bad technology user experiences increase feelings of burnout and stress, according to a study.

Decreasing workload is only possible with the right software, connected devices and services. Care teams have a more efficient workflow when implementing an ecosystem of innovative RPM software and patient-friendly connected devices. It reduces manual work and syncs readings automatically for monitoring. This connected care environment allows you to engage with patients more proactively instead of just seeing them in clinic a few times a year.

Get help with patient identification.

Partner with a company that can work closely with you to identify which patients are the right fit for your chronic disease management program. 

Tap your solutions provider to assist with insurance verification.

Partner with an RPM vendor who can also help verify insurance via Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance. They check for coverage using a HIPAA-secure tool. It’s useful to diversify the payor mix and extend the value of RPM to more patients. 

Simplify connected medical device shipping.

After identification and verification, patients need to receive their connected devices. You should be able to have the devices directly shipped to patients or your office.

Streamline patient onboarding.

Next, patients will need to go through onboarding to know how to take readings with their devices properly. It’s critical to educate them and ensure they follow instructions. You can get support for this through your RPM partner with virtual, on-site, or a hybrid approach. With this as part of your onboarding, it can increase patient adoption and ensure the experience is patient-centric.

Trust licensed nurses to deliver clinical monitoring services.

The biggest strain of chronic disease management initiatives is the daily monitoring of vitals and patient engagement. The more patients you monitor, the more personnel resources you need. However, you can outsource this completely.

Be sure that you’re working with licensed nurses to conduct the monitoring versus non-healthcare call centers. This group becomes an extension of your staff that can deliver 1:1 engagement and provide the quality of care you expect. They are the primary contact for triage escalations. Patients receive the attention they need without increasing your team’s workload. 

Outsourcing clinical monitoring allows you to build a program without adding more staff.s. The key to this is a well-designed escalation process. If you’re working with licensed nurses, most vital alerts are addressable without being escalated to your clinical team.

These clinical teams also regularly interact with patients, reminding them to take vitals or medications while building trust. They can also answer patients’ questions immediately regarding their devices or a reading. All these touchpoints lead to patient adherence and engagement, which empowers patients to take an active role in their chronic care journey..

Reduce admin work and access patient data with modern, flexible RPM software.

Finally, the RPM software you use to manage chronic diseases can create efficiency or hinder the process. It should require minimal setup with automated ways to configure patients. Key features that help decrease workload include:

  • The ability to view vitals anytime with capabilities to prioritize, review, and evaluate
  • Automatic syncing of data from devices to RPM software and EHRs
  • Single view of patients across your population with customizable dashboards 
  • Tracking of each patient’s progress with the configuration of thresholds, defined treatment goals, and patient outreach plans
  • Two-way communication built into the platform
  • Billing and revenue management in real-time view

Burnout, efficiency, and work-life balance for clinicians 

Burnout is rampant in healthcare for many reasons. The stress and its toil have led to many leaving the field. Healthcare faces shortages for every role, with nurses having a 17% vacancy rate. The gaps will only increase through 2030.

To balance these shortages with expanding the amount of care required from each nurse is a perfect storm for increased burnout and stress. Thus, healthcare professionals seek solutions that ease this rather than add more work and complexity. 

Technology plus support services enable you to deploy and expand a chronic disease management solution while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. You can deliver care to those with chronic conditions with the support of a robust RPM ecosystem, leading to greater care continuity and quality of life for patients. You and your staff also benefit from workflows designed for your needs. Working with the right vendor should boost efficiency and help your clinical team’s workflow. 

Decrease workload with chronic disease management solutions from Optimize Health.

Optimize Health provides full-service RPM support so your patients can achieve healthier outcomes without putting more work on your staff. Our innovative software and support services enable you to leverage remote care to support chronic disease patients better and improve overall health outcomes. 

Learn more about how we’re helping organizations do this by talking to our remote care specialists.