Dr. Brett Oliver, CMIO at Baptist Health KY & IN, joined our CEO Chris McCann on our recent webinar to share his experience implementing Current Health’s remote monitoring platform. Baptist Health began piloting remote patient monitoring (RPM) in late 2019 for CHF and COPD patients with a goal of improving patient experience and quality of care by bringing healthcare into the home. As the pandemic hit, they quickly pivoted to monitoring COVID-19 patients to help free up space in the hospital and ensure safe recovery at home.
As Baptist Health looks to further scale their remote care program, Dr. Oliver shares his lessons from the initial implementation and his strategy for scaling. Here is a summary of a few of his key learnings:
Advice for health systems about to implement enterprise RPM:
Focus on workflows first, technology second. Yes, the technology must be great. But having aligned operational workflows is the key to success. To help with this, choose an RPM platform that integrates with your EMR for things such as ordering and alerting. Having a flexible platform makes it easy to create consistent workflows across teams, especially as more service lines look to incorporate RPM into their strategy. At Baptist Health, the combination of a single clinical dashboard paired with flexible configurations allowed teams to align on shared goals and build integrated workflows.
“Establish a platform and then those strong operational partnerships need to come first…Historically, our different facilities found their own solutions and IT had to support them all. This doesn’t always work out from an efficiency and quality of care perspective.”
Key component to look for in an RPM platform:
When starting out, flexibility is key. This is especially true as you first begin to understand the population you’re monitoring and how to set the right alarm parameters. At Baptist Health, once the care team understood what “normal” deterioration looked like for COVID-19 patients, they could relax some of the alarm thresholds to reduce false positives. Things like the ability to set up alarms involving multiple vital signs and adjust for individual patients were key to helping their team know when to act on an alarm.
“One of the major adjustments we’ve made recently with our alarms involved using two different vital sign parameters at one time. This unique ability was what I was looking for in a platform. For example, I can say ‘alarm if the O2 sat is below a certain threshold, and the respiratory rate is this, and the heart rate is this.’”
How to gain buy-in for a new RPM program:
Focus on the patient and physician buy-in will come. The enrollment process sets the tone of their experience—and adherence—to the program. Outside of basic training, it’s important to explain what outcomes you’re looking for at the individual patient level. Satisfied patients will help to grow provider buy-in for virtual care solutions such as RPM. For Baptist Health, patient demand for virtual care options has made it difficult for them to imagine going back.
“For one patient, after about 6 weeks of continuous monitoring I felt like we had to pry [the device] off of her. She just loved the comfort and the security of knowing that somebody was keeping an eye on her 24/7.”
Predictions for the future of remote care delivery:
In a value-based world, RPM will help scale high-quality care by providing efficiency and personalization. With access to patient vital sign data, care teams can manage a greater number of patients due to the ability to prioritize which patients need attention. In the future, this data will allow health systems to further personalize therapy based on a patient’s biometric profile.
“How cool and precise would it be to send a [pre-op] patient home for 7-10 days with the Current Health device, collect that personal data, and compare them to a cohort to similar comorbidities and similar surgeries so that you can tailor their surgery and ensure success.”
To hear more tips from Dr. Oliver, watch the full webinar recording here.