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How Remote Patient Monitoring Can Help Solve Nursing Staff Shortages

We're always looking for ways to save money, whether it's cutting back on our own budget or finding ways to improve efficiencies in the workplace. In the healthcare industry, the increase in demand for healthcare employees has impacted staffing workflows. Every minute and every dollar counts, so let's look at how using remote patient monitoring technologies can help solve these employee shortages and make sure everyone gets the quality of care that they deserve.



address clinical staff shortages with remote patient monitoring



As the global population continues to rise, so does the need for adequate healthcare and medical services. In fact, the World Health Organisation anticipates that by 2030 there will be a staggering shortage of 18 million health workers (doctor and nursing), particularly in low- and lower-middle income countries.


According to a WHO report presented at the Third Global Forum on Human Resource for Health in 2013, if the shortages outlined in the report are not addressed, they will have major consequences for the health of billions of people around the world. Despite the fact that rural areas house roughly half of the world’s population, just 38% of nurses and 25% of doctors work in these areas.


Remote patient monitoring solutions can help solve nursing and clinical staff shortages. These devices allow doctors, nurses and carers to care for patients remotely, often whilst working remotely themselves.


RPM allows patients to receive care (diagnosis, treatment, medication management and other services) remotely using mobile devices or other communications technologies.


It can be used as a tool to supplement conventional healthcare or on its own, providing primary care either directly or as an addition to regular clinical management.


Using intelligent data and actionable insights to provide care


RPM makes it simple for providers to collect health information about their patients.


RPM Health Hub organises patient data and provides actionable insights, allowing healthcare practitioners or carers to make informed decisions while also cutting down on the time it takes to enter data into the system, generate reports, and make treatment recommendations.


In care settings, instead of physically walking from room to room, care staff can use remote patient monitoring tools to keep an eye on these patients.


This makes efficient use of their time throughout the day, allowing providers to swiftly monitor their patient’s vitals, offer them necessary reminders, and assist them in achieving their long-term health goals.


Patients or caregivers can all record crucial information including physical and emotional status, eating patterns, and medication adherence using the mobile applications provided as part of RPM Health Hub.


This reduces the need for in-person health care by lowering readmission rates and can avoid unnecessary trips to the emergency department.


Improving accessibility while reducing the burden on healthcare facilities


Remote patient monitoring can assist healthcare facilities in reducing the number of patients requiring in-person care. Patients recovering from surgery and those with serious chronic illnesses need to be observed regularly.


By adopting remote patient monitoring, providers can now monitor these patients remotely. This can be especially helpful for patients who live far away from the hospital or clinic where they receive treatment.


Increasing efficiency: reduce patient visits through active remote monitoring


By implementing RPM, providers can monitor their patient’s vital signs, adherence to medications, activity, food intake and symptoms as well as communicate with their patients virtually to support the plan of care, clinical assessment, and provide education. This allows the healthcare provider to reduce the number of in-person visits while still providing care, as well as take on a greater number of patients.


This shouldn't be viewed to replace in-person, home health care visits. Rather, it should be seen as a way to prioritise or supplement those visits, allowing practitioners to use smart devices while maintaining their current workforce and workflow.


Using the entire health network to provide care


Healthcare providers often face a dilemma when faced with a shortage of workers. They must choose between having under-trained employees perform tasks that require highly skilled staff, or delegating jobs that are traditionally performed by those with little training to workers who can competently do the job but take up time away from patients—time that could be spent providing care.


Remote patient monitoring can help healthcare providers streamline their daily routines so they can spend more time caring for patients and less time completing redundant stages and manual processes.


Simple healthcare activities that are delegated to highly trained professionals can often lead to an imbalance in healthcare.


Healthcare facilities can increase their efficiency by assigning less-skilled workers to tasks that require little training but still generate results using RPM tools. These activities can be augmented with volunteers, community health workers, and adequate supervision and support from specialised healthcare providers.


Conclusion


Staffing is one of the biggest challenges that healthcare professionals are facing today. Remote monitoring is a great way for providers to address the need for extra staff, while also lowering costs and improving patient outcomes.


With advances in remote patient monitoring and the ubiquity of wireless network coverage, healthcare providers will have better frameworks for addressing staff shortages and their scope of practice—so that they can offer patients high-quality care for years to come.


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