Safely Incorporate Remote Patient Monitoring Into Your Practice

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Last week, the Texas Medical Association gave you some tips on incorporating remote patient monitoring – from digital blood pressure cuffs to mobile health apps – into your telemedicine care. 

If you’re considering using telemedicine or remote patient monitoring, the Texas Medical Liability Trust’s (TMLT) Risk Management team has some recommendations to protect you and your practice: 

  • Develop a comprehensive set of protocols that describe how patients should operate remote patient monitoring devices, who on your staff will review the data, when, and how often.
  • Educate patients on “available hours” and the limitations of remote monitoring.
  • Educate patients on what constitutes an emergency reading, and how to respond (i.e. call 911, go to the emergency department, etc.)
  • Educate patients on the risks of a remote device failing or malfunctioning, and the risks of malware compromising the effectiveness of the device and patient privacy.
  • Document this education in the patient’s medical record, either via written acknowledgment or documentation of discussion. A written acknowledgment should reference patient education regarding how remote monitoring works, the limitations, and warnings.
  • Some telemedicine platforms allow providers to set the times when patients can transmit data to the provider. Others allow providers to tailor the timing of transmissions for each patient to avoid random submissions when providers are not available to monitor the data.
  • If patients will be allowed to transmit information 24/7, you would be responsible for developing and implementing a process for evaluating this data in a timely manner to avoid any delays in treatment.
  • Incorporate references to telemedicine/remote monitoring technologies into your Notice of Privacy Practices;
  • Include telemedicine equipment in your Security Management Plan and annual Security Risk Assessment and ensure all staff and providers who participate in telemedicine/remote monitoring services have received telemedicine-specific privacy and security training;
  • Determine if Business Associate Agreements are needed. Evaluate all parties, including any vendors involved in the provision of services, for compliance with federal and state privacy and confidentiality regulations. 

TMLT, the largest medical liability insurance provider in Texas, has not published any formal guidance for its policyholders related to remote patient monitoring. 

Visit TMA’s telemedicine webpage for news, information, and other resources, including TMA's Practice Consulting services.

Last Updated On

May 26, 2020

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