How to Deploy a Remote Patient Monitoring Program

Has your agency or facility decided that it is time to deploy a remote client monitoring (RCM)...

Has your agency or facility decided that it is time to deploy a remote client monitoring (RCM) solution? As CMS reimbursements for digital devices expand in response to a need for more senior care coverage, many home health care agencies, and healthcare facilities are turning to RCM as a way to expand the capabilities of their existing teams.

But, what is it like to roll out a new RCM program? What does it mean for the facility (or home)? How do clients and family members feel about it, and how do you address their concerns? What about your teams – how will an RCM program impact their day and their care?

This article breaks the process down from start to finish – from internal roll-out to client and family member conversations. Let's get started!

Step #1 – Complete Administrator Training

Your team looks to you as the expert and is confident in their tasks when you display confidence. Before rolling out a new RCM program to your team, complete all administrator training. At AI2, our new CareMate facilities undergo administrator training during the initial onboarding phase. This training is quick, concise and ensures that leaders know how to access and manage the dashboard and mobile application, add new clients and caregivers, and generate reports.

It is also helpful to develop a simple plan for managing device charging and sensor placement. The CareMate sensor lasts four days on a single charge and recharges in just two hours. We recommend that agencies and facilities plan to charge the sensor on the third day after placement. As a best practice, agencies and facilities may elect to develop a sensor charging schedule that aligns with an established routine (such as bathing) to minimize disruption. Additionally, the device provides battery status via the mobile application and SMS notification at 24-, 12-, and 4-hours of remaining battery life to ensure caregivers are always aware of the sensor’s battery status.

Step #2 – Internal Roll-Out of RCM

As a leader in the facility, you understand the daily stresses that most caregivers face – expanding caseloads and mountains of regulatory paperwork. Often, the introduction of a new initiative looks like more work for your teams. It is essential to counter that mindset by thoroughly explaining the benefits of RCM and how it improves the quality of their care and makes their jobs easier.

Caregivers use the CareMate mobile application and the Daily Report, which is automatically sent to their inbox each morning, to gain in-depth insight into the health and well-being of their clients. Training your team on the mobile application is simple as it is very intuitive. Your team members easily navigate from one client to the next to view vital statistics and historical data.

The Daily Report quickly becomes essential reading as it provides an at-a-glance look at vital trends and important statistics and allows your caregiver to spot areas of concern quickly. An RCM program enables caregivers to spend more time with each client and less time gathering and recording data. Before entering a room or a home, caregivers already know if the client has an elevated temperature or experienced a restless night's sleep.

Step #3 – Hardware Deployment

The next step is to set up the physical hardware. The CareMate RCM system consists of a sensor device and disposable hypoallergenic adhesive strips, and a network gateway. The dashboard and mobile application are hosted entirely in the cloud and are accessible from any internet-connected device.

To start, install the network gateway in a central location. In a home, network gateways are often installed in the living room. A good way to check coverage is to stand in the spot where the network gateway will be placed and do a visual scan. Can you see most of the desired coverage area, or do multiple walls block it? An ideal network gateway location provides an open sight-line from the network gateway to the entire desired coverage area. The CareMate gateway should be installed at approximately chest height, but it can also be installed behind furniture or on the ceiling.

Facilities often install multiple gateways. Placing gateways in the client's room and common areas, such as the dining room and activity room enable location tracking and full facility coverage.

Step #4 – Introduce the RCM to Clients and Families

Families are generally thrilled to have the added peace of mind that comes from remote client monitoring. CareMate allows family members to check on the activity levels, temperature, and heart rate of their loved ones without contacting the caregiver. CareMate also delivers an immediate notification to the mobile application, dashboard, and a list of pre-selected SMS numbers in the event of a fall.

The CareMate sensor is discrete and comfortable. Wearers report that they cannot feel the device while wearing it. Clients enjoy knowing that their vital health statistics are going straight to their healthcare providers so that any anomalies can be investigated. This knowledge decreases stress and improves the overall quality of life of the client.

CareMate RCM captures and reports vitals over a long period of time — 90 days or more. This allows caregivers to spot negative trends and report the information to medical personnel. Additionally, CareMate RCM combines reporting on heart rate, heart rate variability, respiration rate, temperature, and activity with blood pressure, blood oxygen saturation (SPo2), and glucose levels collected from third-party, FDA approved devices to provide a comprehensive picture of the client’s wellness.

In a home health care setting, an RCM program provides a method of extending the client's independence by enabling family members and caregivers to receive fall detection alerts and check-up on important data like heart rate, it’s variability, respiration rate, skin and body temperature, blood pressure, blood oxygen and glucose levels, and their activities.

Remote client monitoring creates synergy between the caregiver, administrators, families, and clients. It gives peace of mind to all involved and assurance that the client's health and quality of life are at the center of all decisions. Deploying CareMate RCM in your home health care agency or healthcare facility eases the administrative burden on your caregiver teams and delivers consistent, reliable communication to families while simultaneously improving client quality of life.

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