In a move that could realize much of the promise of wireless remote monitoring, Partners HealthCare system has made it possible for providers to view remotely-collected patient health data in its EMR. The program was launched by Partners division The Center for Connected Health, which focuses on delivering new forms of patient care outside of standard medical settings.
For years, Partners has been running programs which collect patient data through a combination of remote-monitoring technology, sensors and Web-based tools. Their focus has included management of chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, medication adherence and improved pregnancy outcomes and cardiac care outcomes. The Center’s remote monitoring database now stores over 1.2 million patient vital signs.
Now, Partners has linked The Center’s proprietary remote monitoring database to its EMR, a step which moves the system in the direction of offering continuous chronic disease management. If a patient is participating in a remote monitoring program, Partners physicians can can now see a patient’s day-to-day vital signs, blood glucose levels, weight and other key health indicators directly within their records in the EMR.
The ultimate notion, according to the press release at least, is to “put the patient at the center of their care while maintaining a close watch on their condition when they are not in the hospital or doctor’s office.”
While Partners didn’t say how many patients are involved in The Center’s programs, it’s doubtless a small fraction of overall Partners patient population. So despite the general coolness of what they’re trying to do, this is still more on the order of an experiment than a population health management program via remote monitoring.
Still, what Partners is doing is a large step in the right direction, and will doubtless realize some of the long anticipated benefits of remote monitoring for patients who are involved. Good show, folks.