Children’s Health in Dallas started using RPM solutions in 2015, first rolling out the tools to help track the vital signs of organ transplant recipients after surgery. The hospital has expanded its testing of RPM pilot programs, and officials expect to soon support about 200 patients in various use cases.
One area of clear success: medication compliance monitoring. Patients wear a patch that detects when they take their medications, and care providers at the hospital can track that adherence in real-time. The hospital also uses RPM for simple follow-ups, sending out questionnaires via text message and ensuring patients and parents have all of the services they need right on their smartphones, saving them the effort of making individual phone calls.
“Reducing readmissions is a main focus for all of these programs,” says Victoria Rodino, director of telehealth operations, network development, and innovation at Children’s Health. “Parents are scared when they go home. Any little thing that changes in their children’s symptoms, they immediately call the clinic and often bring them into the emergency department, where they could catch a virus.”
The RPM initiative allowed one teenage Children’s Health patient to attend an overnight school trip for the first time because his mother was able to track his medical information from home. Another avoided potential complications when medication monitoring tools revealed that the patient had forgotten a doctor’s instructions to double the medication dosage.
“Without RPM, they would have kept taking the half dose, and then at their next clinic visit, they would have said, ‘Yeah, I’m taking the meds.’ But the lab results wouldn’t have looked right,” Rodino says. “It was such a live view of what was going on, and we were able to identify the problem very quickly.”