By Uday Bahal, Risk Manager – Medioh
A Safe Distance – Managing Remote Care Risk
How do providers manage patient safety when delivering care from a distance?
In traditional care settings, patient monitoring is conducted in controlled healthcare environments, such as clinics or hospitals. With remote care, patients are monitored via care tech located directly in their homes. This care delivery model comes with its own unique set of risks; all of which must be managed and mitigated to provide safe, effective remote care solutions.
Risk and Reward
In any form of care, risks must be managed in the procedures and tools used to administer treatment to patients.
Clinical and in-person care delivery models come with their own unique environmental risks. In hospital settings, factors like contagions, equipment functionality, facility conditions, and staffing resources must be carefully considered. These risk opportunities must be carefully controlled to ensure patients are getting safe care within these environments.
From power outages and medical supply shortages to security concerns and biohazards; clinical care sites strategically mitigate countless risks every day to provide quality care to patients.
Remote Care Risk
When delivering healthcare from a distance, risks range from issues with technology functionality to patient usage of care tools. Additionally, the risks associated with reprocessing care technologies must be managed. This includes all cleaning, disinfection, and refurbishing practices. These product and process risks must be continuously identified, evaluated, and managed to deliver safe remote care.
Once identified, each potential risk is analyzed, evaluated, controlled, and monitored. This is done through managed processes, statistical inspections, and periodic review throughout the entire remote care lifecycle. For every “what if”, there must be a compliant process to mitigate any issue that could result in unsafe or ineffective outcomes.
In managing care technology risk, the primary goals are ensuring the product is safe and effective for patient use. This means that the technology performs its intended job, and causes no harm to the patient. Practically, this includes anticipating and preventing harm from failure modes that can arise during the product lifecycle, including potential misuse of technology.
But, how do providers manage these unique RPM risks, while also ensuring their focus remains on care?
Delivering safe and effective remote care solutions at scale requires advanced capacities in technology, logistics and quality management. While this expertise may fall outside of the traditional healthcare vertical, leading health providers are partnering with operational support experts to manage remote care technology and mitigate the risks a given solution creates.
From assessing user risk to analyzing each and every process that impacts user safety and device effectiveness, these partners create processes which ensure no potential issues affect patients.
Each risk management process created is unique to client needs compliant with international standards and national regulations, and is comprehensively tailored to correct each distinctive issue and ensure patient safety.
Digital health doesn’t have to be risky business. By combining the expertise of healthcare providers with logistics and technology specialists, delivering remote care at scale can be achieved without ever sacrificing quality and safety for volume.
Find out more about how Medioh creates safe, supportive RPM experiences for patients and providers.