Managing and Implementing Remote Patient Device Data in the EHR

Kapila Monga | Journal of AHIMA | May 17, 2017

“Mr. Watson—come here—I want to see you.”

These were the first words spoken over the telephone by inventor Alexander Graham Bell on March 10, 1876. According to popular legend, this call was also the first time the telephone was used to summon help, as Bell had just spilled acid.1 In a way, we can look back on this incident as prophetic, with the advent of telemedicine capabilities. Today, remote patient monitoring encompasses various audio, video, and augmented reality-related technologies and processes used for health information exchange between a patient and physician system. This is also sometimes called “connected health.”

Kapila MongaWhile the healthcare industry gears up to address various organizational, logistical, and social challenges surrounding the usage and adoption of remote patient monitoring, HIM professionals also need to prepare themselves for the onset of this new era. A lot has already been written on how the function of HIM departments would change in next decade,2 and remote patient monitoring adds another dimension to this evolving function:

Remote patient monitoring introduces a plethora of data from point of care (Bluetooth devices/connected health devices being used by patients in their home settings) like vital signs, weight, oxygen level, blood sugar level, blood pressure, heart rate, etc. to the electronic health record (EHR). Not all of this data maps to a patient visit or an encounter; as the remote health devices transmit this information back to the provider systems, HIM professionals ought to be able to decipher if, where, and how this information goes in the EHR system...