How AI Remote Patient Monitoring Reduces Staff Burden, Enables Care at Home - MedCity News

Consider all the manual, repetitive tasks that nurses must perform every day, performing duties such as scheduling, refilling medications, taking vital signs and performing health checks, and more. The stress on the nursing profession has been building up for years. It has exploded due to the Covid-19 pandemic, leaving many nurses feeling tired, burnt out and heading for the exits.

For example, a recent survey of 2,500 nurses by Incredible Health, a technology-enabled nurse recruitment platform, found that 34% of nurses said they were very likely to leave their roles by the end of 2022, and 44% cited burnout and a high-stress environment as reasons for wanting to leave. Of those who plan to leave their jobs, 32% plan to retire or leave the profession altogether.

More than just the stress of the pandemic, many nurses are considering leaving the profession. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of nurses reported being verbally or physically assaulted by a patient or a patient’s family member in the past year, while 32% said they experienced discrimination and/or racism in the workplace.

At the same time nurses are looking to leave the profession, the demand for nurses is expected to increase in the coming years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an average of 194,500 annual registered nurse jobs between 2020 and 2030, with employment expected to grow 9 percent, according to the American Nurses Association.

How AI-enabled RPM can help ease the burden

Through automation and artificial intelligence (AI), many of these duties can be alleviated for nurses and other clinical staff, allowing them to devote more time to patient work and revenue-generating opportunities. As a result of being freed from manual tasks, clinical staff can “practice at the top of their licenses” and apply the full scope of their education, training, experience and expertise to complex work that increases job satisfaction and productivity. the suppliers. Doctors, nurses and other clinical staff embark on this chosen career for passionate reasons – to focus on helping people – and technology can enable them to do just that.

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) includes a wide range of technologies that capture physiological and disease-related data from the user’s home, providing this insightful detail to healthcare providers. Combined with an artificial intelligence virtual assistant that engages patients and delivers reminders and feedback for increased patient accountability, it’s a powerful combination. Through AI-enabled RPM, healthcare organizations can reduce stress and burnout for nurses and clinical staff, an especially important consideration at a time of widespread healthcare staffing shortages that are expected to continue.

RPM: Increasing accountability through asynchronous care

RPM technology offers numerous benefits for providers and patients. Having biometric data continuously enables asynchronous care via text or other store-and-forward technologies so that patients do not have to wait for follow-up visits or catastrophic events to initiate, escalate, or discontinue medical therapies. The data provide a means for earlier intervention, remotely or as a return visit, to preempt common clinical problems, such as the need for therapy escalation, treatment change, or addressing barriers to improve medication adherence and dose compliance.

For patients, RPM technology provides a sense of being monitored, combined with reminders and feedback, which can create a sense of personal accountability. By regularly measuring key vital signs, patients’ motivation to make healthier decisions to improve these biometrics can also increase.

In addition, RPM platforms can reduce therapeutic inertia, enabling faster titration of therapies, such as for hypertension and diabetes, in a shorter period of time.

Additionally, RPM supports the concept of “aging in place,” where seniors stay in their homes to receive care, rather than moving to assisted living centers, for example. More than 75% of consumers said they would be willing to receive care at home for everything from visiting a health care facility to treating chronic conditions, according to The PwC Health Research Institute.

Here are three ways AI-enabled RPM reduces staff workload and provides more information for improved patient care at home:

  1. Improving treatment adherence: Patients fail to adhere to their treatment plans for a wide variety of reasons, ranging from simple forgetfulness to confusion about whether they took their pills, fear of potentially harmful side effects, the high cost of their prescriptions, and mistrust of their clinicians. Through RPM technology, providers can be informed of patients’ vital signs, allowing them to quickly intervene to keep the patient on track, rather than letting noncompliance result in the unnecessary use of additional healthcare resources, which can further tax the shortage of clinical staff.
  2. Streamline billing and reimbursement: Leading RPM solutions make billing more efficient through automated bill drafts, monitoring time tracking and easy access to claims data to substantiate billing. Technology alleviates the burden of such back-office tasks, freeing up clinical team members for direct patient care.
  3. Deriving insights into the social determinants of health (SDoH).: RPM facilitates the collection of data related to SDoH, such as information related to economic stability, housing, food insecurity/nutrition, and transportation and access to care. With a clearer picture of the non-medical challenges patients face, providers can connect older adults with community-based organizations to address those challenges that may negatively impact an individual’s health.

Given the state of the nursing profession, it is unlikely that healthcare organizations can simply hire their way out of this problem. The industry can turn to technology to address labor shortages that are occurring as the supply of nurses falls short of demand.

Care at home will continue to be required. Through automation and AI-enabled RPM technology, healthcare organizations can reduce the burden of routine, manual tasks on nurses and clinical staff, provide better insights and allow them to focus more on patient care and improved outcomes.

Photo: PeopleImages, Getty Images

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