Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Launching and Running an RPM Program

The cost of healthcare, all around, is a rather painful pill to swallow for just about everyone. As...

The cost of healthcare, all around, is a rather painful pill to swallow for just about everyone. As 2018, the U.S. spends a whopping $3.6 trillion on healthcare 90% of which is funneled into chronic disease management. RPM, according to industry insiders, can actually cut this price tag in half. Offering safe products, quality service, and reduced costs of care for patients. From heart disease to diabetes all the way to asthma, RPM is a win-win for both patients as well as healthcare providers. Nevertheless, there are some issues or hurdles healthcare providers should avoid when launching and running an RPM program.

In this article, we’ll dissect some of the most common mistakes when adopting an RPM platform. 

What factors define the success of an RPM program?

Remote patient monitoring, amongst them telehealth,  has helped improve the quality of care for patients and reduce the costs associated with healthcare.

The following are some statistics on healthcare remote patient monitoring:

-In 2011, there were over 1 million remote patient monitoring sessions in the US. This is a 400% increase from 2001.

-In 2012, more than 90% of hospitals in the US had at least one type of remote monitoring equipment to enable them to remotely monitor patients.

-A survey conducted by Philips found that 77% of hospitals have implemented or plan to invest in remote patient monitoring solutions by 2020

The remote patient monitoring industry is growing at a rapid rate. The industry has grown from $6.3 billion in 2014 to $6.8 billion in 2015, and it hit $10.1 billion in 2020 —  and by 2023 it is expected to double to $20 billion. The remote patient monitoring industry today is becoming increasingly popular and the market size is expected to balloon enormously in the coming years — this is partly due to the changes the COVID pandemic brought on the industry, as well as the focus of technology companies that want to fulfill consumer demands for health-oriented wearables.

Currently, hospitals, clinics, and healthcare institutions are leveraging RPM devices to access new features and services, bring down costs, and offer better quality care.

leveraging RPM programs

The success of a remote patient monitoring program can be defined by the following factors:

  • The type of technology used for remote patient monitoring.
  • The quality of the communication between the caregiver and the patient.
  • The accuracy of data being collected.
  • How well the device is tolerated by patients?
  • The reliability of a wireless network connection.

The most common mistakes healthcare providers make when launching and running an RPM program

Launching a successful RPM program can be quite challenging as this subset of telehealth has become incredibly innovative and complex over the years. The development of innovations in the RPM industry has grown exponentially and every day something new is developed. It’s important to stay on top of trends and take into account some of the more common mistakes when employing this type of device. 

Forgetting about face-to-face visits

One of the biggest advantages of employing an RPM program is that patients and doctors can cut back on face-to-face visits. The biggest problem with remote patient monitoring is this change in mindset. Patients as well as doctors can make the mistake of outsourcing 100% of their care to the device, disregarding the need for follow-ups. It’s important to continue with face-to-face meetings. 

Failing to use the correct CPT codes

CPT codes refer to the treatment the patient is receiving. Current Procedural Terminology - CPT - offers doctors a uniform language for medical services and procedures. In RPM, using the right terminology for what the device is there for is critical since it allows other physicians, aside from the one who ordered the gadget, to have an understanding of its objective. 

CPT in RPM program

Not using medical devices as defined by the FDA

Not all RPM devices are FDA approved. Depending on your particular application it may be important to invest in devices that have all their certifications in place.

Failing to track interactive time

RPM devices along with software and AI track data and real-time metrics. Staff and doctors must stay on top of all the data in order to understand what their patient needs and how they are interacting with the device. 

Not getting patient feedback

RPM programs, in order to work, have to be adopted and embraced by the patient. 4 out of 10 patients that have been assigned an RPM device fail to use them. Why? For numerous reasons - amongst the biggest, “they don’t feel comfortable with it.” By getting patient feedback, doctors can customize the device or assign a different version of it. They can also, if all seems hopeless and the patient is dead set on not using it, funnel the resource to another candidate. 

Inadequate patient training

A huge part of remote patient monitoring programs comes from the fact that some of the heavy lifting will be done by the patient. They need to properly understand how their device functions, the benefits to them, and the data it produces. RPM devices are empowering since they educate patients on their condition. 

Enrolling the wrong patients

Not every patient is a good fit for an RPM program. They might have a condition that simply can’t be managed by an RPM device. They might be a bit reluctant to embrace the technology. Dozens of reasons can pop up that make them an inadequate RPM candidate. It’s important to funnel these devices to patients that will use them.  

The importance of launching RPM programs successfully 

Faster services, reduced costs, better patient outcomes, and improved compliance rates, are just some of the benefits of RPM programs. It’s important to understand the landmines of adopting one of these programs in order to properly launch and run it. 


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