As modest as the concept seems, remote patient monitoring (RPM) is quite expansive, revolutionizing healthcare in not just the chronic care field, but in the mental and behavioral healthcare space, as well. Remote patient monitoring is a type of client engagement, whereby clients use a mobile device such as a cell phone to share developments in their condition with their care providers.
It is used by medical doctors to help themselves and their patients monitor changes in certain physical metrics, such as blood glucose level or blood pressure. In the past decade, the mental healthcare industry has also developed a penchant for this versatile use of technology, using RPM systems to track patients’ emotional, behavioral and sometimes physical states to better administer care. But why is such a technology so vital in the healthcare system, especially in the realm of mental and behavioral health? Let’s take a look.
- Problem: Many areas in America suffer from a shortage of mental health professionals; approximately 51% of the need for care is currently being met (1).
Solution: RPM programs allow clinicians to serve more patients, reducing the shortage areas.
- Problem: Client engagement is necessary for successful therapy, however, engagement stands at a low 11% when printed CBT questionnaires are used.
Solution: RPM software systems increase engagement to 90%.
- Problem: Stigma concerning mental health is still relatively high. Many people today still hold denigrating stereotypes about the mentally ill such as the belief that they are aggressive and unpredictable (1).
Solution: Incorporating mental health with general healthcare tools and widely accepted technologies, such as smart phones, reduces stigma.
- Problem: 17% of patients relapse within 30 days of being discharged, costing the nation approximately $2.5 billion a year. Relapses tend to be gradual, and may not always be noticeable to therapists who are with patients for less than 2 hours a week on average (2).
Solution: RPM systems allow clinicians to better monitor clients so that triggers can be identified early and responded to. This reduces the readmission rate, as well as the accompanying costs of readmission.
- Opportunity: As in all industries, managing a productive workflow is key to overseeing smooth, efficient operations with little to no wastage of resources. However, workflows are yet to be perfected, and RPM systems have adapted well to this opportunity.
Solution: RPM software is usually easy to integrate into existing workflows by bringing information to clinicians at the point of care (3).
Some RPM systems offer more advanced benefits in this very sensitive space of mental and behavioral health treatment. For instance, the Mentegram software is the only one known to offer a dashboard, as well as an app for clients, catering to varying technological needs of patients.
Also, the app allows clinicians to create different questionnaires for each patient, and integrate with other mental and behavioral health software. These efficiencies help therapists better manage multiple clients and serve their needs, using a program that is easy to use and customize. One of the greatest benefits of the Mentegram app is its ability to confirm clinical diagnoses and thus develop better treatment plans and improve outcomes.
During a time when there is ongoing controversy concerning the quality of mental healthcare and continued political debate about ways to better serve patients and keep clinicians accountable, remote patient monitoring shines as an effective and staying solution to a complex problem.
As you continue to learn about and navigate this relatively new space of RPM, we encourage you to consider the benefits of choosing an app that yields considerable economic, treatment and patient benefits.
We look forward to hearing from you.
- Dickinson, Hilary. “Employers Have A Stake In The Urgent Need For Mental Health Care”BizTimes.com. 23 March, 2015. Web. 2 April, 2015.
- “Relapse Awareness and Management,” Choices in Recovery. N.P. 5 January, 2015. Web. 2 April, 2015.
- Strome, Trevor. “Mobile Devices, Apps And The Patient Health Management Revolution,” Techtarget.com. N.D. Web. 2 April, 2015.