Remote Monitoring Makes Patient Feel Safer at Home

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Remote Monitoring Makes Patient Feel Safer at Home

When Harriett Ramsey checks her blood pressure and weight each morning, she knows her health is in good hands.

That’s because Horizon Health is remotely monitoring her vital signs as a congestive heart failure patient. Using 4G cellular technology, her daily readings are transmitted to her healthcare team at Horizon Health, which has helped keep her out of the emergency room and hospital.

“This is so great,” said Harriett, age 88, of Paris. “It makes me feel safer.”

Harriett’s daily readings, and those of more than 100 other patients, are sent to Cody Muchow, registered nurse and paramedic. Cody is the program coordinator of the Mobile Integrated Healthcare (MIH) and Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) programs at Horizon Health.

“Cody calls to see how I’m doing about once a week and how the equipment is working,” Harriett said. “All I need to do is call him if I need anything.”

MIH/RPM helps people with chronic medical conditions achieve better outcomes by engaging them in their healthcare, and intervening early before a problem arises. This helps reduce costly emergency room visits and hospital readmissions. Patients often participate in the MIH and RPM programs at the same time.

MIH began in November 2020. It was modeled after a similar program at Carle Hospital that prioritized patients with congestive heart failure. It has since expanded at Horizon Health to accommodate patients with COPD, high blood pressure, diabetes, and COVID-19.

The MIH service consists of paramedics and other medical personnel who have expanded their practices to include in-home visits. They work collaboratively with nurse practitioners/physicians to provide oversight on each patient's medical management. In-home visits are commonly performed on days 1, 3, and 5 following a patient's discharge from the hospital, and as needed thereafter.

The RPM program began in February 2022 and enables medical providers to monitor patients outside of conventional clinical settings, such as in the home. Patients receive equipment that monitors their vital signs, which may include a blood pressure cuff, scale, pulse oximeter (oxygen levels), and glucometer (blood sugar levels).

“We knew all along there was a need for it in the community, to go out to the patients' homes,” said Nic Thomas, advanced practice registered nurse. Nic was one of the first paramedics to make in-home visits as a part of the MIH program. He has since completed schooling as a family nurse practitioner and continued his involvement with the program – now at the provider level.

MIH and RPM have been extremely successful, Nic explained. For example, one patient no longer frequents the emergency room for diabetic emergencies like they had in the past.

Samantha McCarty, director of emergency services, said Horizon Health has outperformed other entities that also use the CareSimple technology for their RPM program. Over a 12-month period, the blood pressure of Horizon Health RPM patients performed better than the national average, dropping eight points (systolic) and seven points (diastolic).

“We really didn’t anticipate that in one year,” she said. “We attribute the success to spending time with patients, providing education, and keeping them engaged in their health.”

Participation in the MIH/RPM programs requires a referral by a Horizon Health medical professional, such as a primary care provider, emergency physician, or care coordinator. For more information about MIH/RPM, call 217-466-4911 or visit