Improving quality and safety is a top priority for all leading healthcare organizations. Every day, new processes, equipment, and digital technologies are emerging to aid in improving the quality of care provided, and creating safer environments for patients. In recent years remote patient management has become one of the top solutions for improving quality and safety in the industry
What is Quality and Safety in Healthcare?
Quality in healthcare is defined by the World Health Organization as the degree to which health services for individuals and populations increase the likelihood of improved health outcomes. Unfortunately for many patients around the world, receiving care that meets this definition is difficult or impossible due to several factors, often resulting in individuals going without treatment and/or proper care. For this reason, healthcare systems require solutions that increase access to care and improve the quality of care they can deliver to patients.
Safety in healthcare refers to the reduction and mitigation of unsafe acts within the healthcare system through the use of best practices shown to lead to optimal patient outcomes. Healthcare safety practices aim to reduce the occurrence of dangerous healthcare processes that lead to patient harm and strive to reduce all factors that put patients at risk throughout the continuum of care.
In this blog, we’ll discuss the importance of improving quality and safety in healthcare, and highlight the many ways remote patient management is contributing to current improvements
Improving Healthcare Quality With Remote Patient Management
Provide Healthcare Services in Rural Areas
When it comes to accessing quality healthcare services, patients in rural communities have long been at a disadvantage. In Canada alone, several rural communities do not have a doctor or other healthcare professionals physically present. In some of these communities, the only way to access healthcare services is to either leave the community or have a healthcare provider make periodic visits.
By using remote patient management, patients in rural areas can receive the care they need without the barriers that come with physical distance.
These platforms are easy to use and friendly for patients to navigate and contact healthcare providers whenever they need assistance. Another benefit of using remote patient management in rural areas is that it can help to reduce costs for those seeking medical services. This is because patients in rural areas often have to pay for their transportation to see a healthcare provider. By using remote patient management, they can receive the care they need without having to pay for transportation, hotel stays, etc.
Increase Access to Healthcare Resources
Increasing access to healthcare resources is essential for improving healthcare quality. Resources can include anything from access to consultations with specialists to medical equipment and educational materials. Depending on where a patient is located or their financial situation, access to these resources may be limited, hindering their ability to properly treat and manage their condition.
With remote patient management, patients can access resources that may otherwise be unattainable. For example, patients who use remote patient management platforms such as aTouchAway can speak with specialists regularly from home, utilize remote monitoring devices and other wearable medical equipment, and access unlimited educational resources provided by their physicians. No matter how complex their condition is, or where they are located physically, patients who are provided care via remote patient management can receive healthcare services that exceed the industry standards for healthcare quality.
Improving Healthcare Safety With Remote Patient Management
Collect Patients’ Health Data in Real Time
Remote patient management systems can help with the collection and storage of real-time patient health data. This style of proactive remote monitoring has been used to improve patient safety by providing more timely and accurate information to clinicians which can be used to make timely adjustments to care plans. This is done by using a variety of remote monitoring devices that collect vital signs and other health-related information which can then be transmitted to a central database. By continuously monitoring patients through remote patient management, clinicians can assess how patients are responding to new treatments, and ensure they are staying on track with their health goals, thus improving patient outcomes and overall safety.
Reduce In-Person Visits
Reducing the number of a patient’s in-person visits can have a significant impact on their overall safety. When patients are unable to meet with a healthcare professional due to their circumstances or health condition(s) that make traveling to and from appointments difficult, they may put off receiving the required treatment. In doing so, symptoms of their condition may become exacerbated due to delayed medical intervention.
Through remote patient management, many patients can receive the same careful treatment as they would through traditional in-person healthcare visits. This online resource provides an opportunity for patients to ask questions and receive immediate feedback, rather than waiting for a provider to have an open slot in their schedule. This can speed up the overall process and allow patients to get the care they need in a timely manner.
Continuing to Use Remote Patient Management to Improve Quality and Safety in Healthcare
Remote patient management uses technology to provide care and support to patients outside of traditional settings. Telehealth platforms that offer remote patient management can be used to manage chronic conditions, provide post-acute care, or even deliver preventive care services. By leveraging technology, these solutions can improve quality and safety in healthcare by providing real-time data, reducing unnecessary in-person healthcare visits, and increasing access to healthcare services for all.
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