Rural healthcare facilities face a number of unique challenges, not least of which is difficulty securing a sufficient number of healthcare workers. While it is widely known that a shortage of nurses exists across the nation, for rural areas, the shortage of staff extends much further.
At rural healthcare facilities, much more pressure is placed on physicians, who don’t have the assistance that their urban counterparts receive. Also, where in urban areas hospital physicians are placed on reasonable rotations for on-call work, in rural areas a doctor may be on call every weekend, every other day, or even, in some cases, at all times.
In rural areas, patients without insurance are an added challenge. In an urban setting, physicians in a hospital’s residency program would usually care for patients who are admitted without health insurance coverage. In more isolated facilities, this responsibility falls to the staff physicians, who are already overworked. This makes it difficult for these facilities to keep doctors on staff.
These factors have forced many healthcare facilities to close, which in turn stagnates economic activity in these locations. It is very difficult for an area to recruit any sort of industry without sufficient healthcare services.
But there is hope for the healthcare industry in these rural areas in the form of technology. One significant step being taken is the development of online training programs for nurses, which helps fill much-needed positions at rural healthcare facilities.
Also, telemedicine technologies can be used to connect rural patients with physicians anywhere in the country. This could be a major solution for improving care in remote areas where in-person treatment is not always readily available.
For the past decade, GlobalMed has been connecting doctors and patients through telemedicine technology. GlobalMed offers a variety of telemedicine products, which use the latest medical technology. To learn more about the innovative telemedicine products and telehealth solutions offered by GlobalMed, contact us today.