Using Remote Patient Monitoring to Reduce Healthcare Provider Burnout

One of RPM's benefits is its ability to re-balance the provider's work/life balance and reduce the likelihood of burnout among your providers.

December 17, 2022
Using Remote Patient Monitoring to Reduce Healthcare Provider Burnout

Remote Patient Monitoring, or RPM, is a digital platform most often used to improve patient outcomes while reducing unnecessary medical services utilization. RPM works well when there's a set of established goals and when the program is administered thoughtfully. It's possible to see reductions in ER visits, hospitalizations, readmissions, etc. But one of RPM's benefits is its ability to re-balance the provider's work/life balance and reduce the likelihood of burnout among your providers – and it's often overlooked when assessing system benefits. 

A day or week in the life of a typical provider starts early, usually with a defined set of scheduled objectives, and then clinic or hospital life takes over. Labs that weren't scheduled. Double-booked time slots. Emergency drop-ins. It gets chaotic quickly. As a UC San Francisco provider told me recently, "I'm scheduled until 5, but I'm here until 7.30." 

Suppose you're involved in remote care coordination. In that case, the picture is often worse because the providers are suddenly working with a potentially limitless workload since they don't have the limiting physicality of consultation room spots or waiting room capacity. As a case in point, we recently worked with a medical clinic in the southeastern US to set up an RPM program for high-risk pregnancies, monitoring gestational diabetes and hypertension. The clinic used a traditional nurse call-out strategy on the 80-patient cohort. Gestational diabetes requires four measurements a day, and non-adherence isn't an option, so the clinic was trying to complete – not attempt but complete - 320 calls a day. This strategy was unscalable and, most importantly, was contributing to employee burnout. We worked with the provider and determined that we could triple the cohort size AND give the nurse her original job back (hint – the nurse hadn't become a nurse to run a call center). She swapped hundreds of calls and manual spreadsheet entries for an automated dashboard that showed her the ten patients in her cohort that needed attention every day. It was a huge labor saving and brought about better outcomes. But the primary beneficiary was the nurse who once again was able to practice nursing. 

RPM is a very effective digital technology that can deliver impressive patient outcomes and financial management results. But pay attention to its utility in increasing satisfaction among your providers. As a result, happy employees stay with their employers.

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