Weekly Must Reads in Patient Safety (Feb 20, 2015)

There are great benefits to continuously monitoring patients. As members of the National Coalition to Promote Continuous Monitoring of Patients on Opioids, we admit that we have our biases.

However, two “must reads” support our position on continuous monitoring.

Remote Patient Monitoring Lets Doctors Spot Trouble Early

RT Magazine reports:

A merging of wireless technology and medical care is still in its infancy, but health systems that began pilot programs with the technology in recent years say they see signs that it is keeping patients healthier. By enabling doctors to continuously monitor patients, they say, the systems can detect problems well before they grow serious.

Patient Monitoring: Oximetry Enhances Care

Pulse oximeters measure the amount of oxygen in blood.

Pulse Oximeter

Could using pulse oximeters help with patient care and help reduce readmissions? Some industry experts think so.

Thanks to @Senscio for tweeting about CMS’s reimbursement for 24/7/365 support for chronic care:

The Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) now recognizes the need for 24/7/365 support for chronic care.  On January 1st of this year, CMS began providing reimbursements to doctors for using technology that assists them in providing 24/7 oversight of their patients with 2 or more chronic illnesses.

These industry experts think use of this technology could reduce readmissions:

Healthcare facilities and medical professionals have been using pulse oximetry for more than eight decades to monitor patients’ oxygen levels. During that time, more sophisticated models with advanced capabilities have been developed. With the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), pulse oximetry is poised to play an even bigger role in helping hospitals achieve the end goal of reducing readmissions through patient monitoring.

Do you agree with these industry experts?

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