Viewpoint: 5 remote patient monitoring concerns for HIM professionals

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The rise in remote patient monitoring technology will change the daily concerns of health information management professionals, according to a May 17 blog post in the Journal of AHIMA.

"While remote patient monitoring certainly has value to offer to providers, there are multiple obstacles to consider and overcome in order for providers to get the most benefit out of this technology," wrote Kapila Monga, a healthcare analytics professional at Cognizant Technology Solutions.

In the blog post, Ms. Monga outlined five key concerns HIM professionals must keep in mind when adopting remote patient monitoring tools.

Here's what she had to share.

1. Information integrity. HIM professionals must decide which types of remote patient monitoring data should be integrated into the EHR, along with how to bring it into the system. Ms. Monga emphasized it is "pivotal" for this information to be traced back to its collection source for data transparency.

2. Information usage. Ms. Monga said HIM professions, as the ones who will receive remote health information, will be the "gatekeepers" of how this data is defined and used. These employees must use medical judgement to determine, for example, when an increase in sugar levels amongst diabetes patients warrants an intervention.

3. Confidentiality and protection. Since remote patient monitoring devices continuously transmit data over the internet, HIM professionals must be increasingly focused on IT security, according to Ms. Monga. They will need to consider how to analyze patient data, along with how to dispose of it after analysis.

4. Information lifecycle. HIM professionals will need to develop protocols for managing and auditing remote patient monitoring data. They must also evaluate the accuracy of data collection and the degree to which it is able to support patient care, wrote Ms. Monga.

5. Information governance. Ms. Monga said HIM professionals should keep up-to-date with regulations and reimbursement policies related to remote patient monitoring, which are rapidly evolving. These laws vary by state and health plan, so understanding how they apply to each patient is a complex undertaking.

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