Our last blog focused on the downward trend of primary care physicians, the reason for this trend, and the effect it could have on the medical industry. This blog is meant to focus on the two different types of medical monitoring and why we tend to support one over the other.
Firstly, let us identify the two forms of monitoring:
Active: Active monitoring entails constant interaction between the monitor and the patient. The obvious advantage of this is that response time for a patient emergency can be almost instantaneous.
Passive: Passive monitoring entails a remote monitoring system that alerts the monitor whenever something happens that strays from a predetermined routine. Passive monitoring requires less man-hours spent on individual patients and therefore is more cost effective.
Again, in our last blog we focused on the benefits of primary care physicians combined with an unfortunate downward trend in popularity, mostly due to cost-effectiveness. This downward trend is partly responsible for us placing ourselves firmly in the passive monitoring camp. Our arguments stem from the ratio of efficiency to cost effectiveness. As technology advances, new forms of passive monitoring technology are being implemented that increase its effectiveness in patient care. As such, more and more passive monitoring systems are beginning to put up similar statistics to the traditional active monitoring process. About a decade ago, a study was done on the billing, cost, and outcome benefits of remote passive patient monitoring. The study, which can be viewed here, highlights some of the various benefits of passive medical monitoring. One of the arguments that resonated strongly was the use of passive medical monitoring in post-surgery patients. With the use of remote heart and vital monitors, patients were able to be discharged from the hospital at least a day earlier than without one. The amount of money this saves both the patient and the hospital is staggering, and there is no doubt that this money could be spent more beneficially in different areas of medicine.
In regards to primary care physicians, the use of remote passive monitoring allows for them to make their billed house calls only when needed, alleviating superfluous costs and making it much more financially sensible to have primary care physicians. The biggest argument against active monitoring is that the cost has been so high it has dissuaded growth in the primary care physician population. As more and more medical entities adopt passive monitoring, we should see the downward trend reversed and more primary care physicians should be able to operate in a new, financially solvent medical world.