A growing topic of concern in the healthcare industry is the limited access to healthcare in the rural areas of the United States. This problem affects social demographics such as Native Americans in over 560 tribes and military veterans across the country.
The Growing Pandemic in Rural America
Rural healthcare is affected by factors not seen in urban areas, such as limited broadband internet access and technological infrastructure, and a higher patient-to-primary care provider ratio. According to the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) rural areas have 39.8 physicians per 100,000 people, as opposed to 53.3 physicians per 100,000 in urban areas.
Other health inequities plague rural America. According to the NRHA, mental health is less likely to be treated in rural areas due to a lack of availability of mental health specialists and a higher level of stigma in seeking treatment. Conversely, suicide among rural youth is twice as likely to occur. Rural areas have higher occurrences of diabetes and coronary disease. Tobacco usage is higher in rural areas than in non-rural areas. Combine problems such as these with a per capita income that is about $9200 less than in non-rural areas, and we have the perfect recipe for a healthcare pandemic in America.
While telemedicine is not the sole solution to these problems, it can reduce the patient-to-primary care physician ratio, and make healthcare more accessible to rural areas. Telemedicine is a viable alternative for those living in the heartlands of America. According to a Health Data Management article written by Greg Slabodkin, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) interviewed Medicaid officials in six states and the results indicated those located in rural areas use telemedicine more frequently than in urban states. The GAO auditors found that in Montana, telemedicine is leveraged to help patients see specialists, not only in Montana but out-of-state as well.
eNcounter® 4 Gives Access to Healthcare
The GlobalMed® ecosystem of hardware and software solutions are all created with the promise of transforming healthcare globally®. eNcounter 4 is our newest platform that allows physicians to make themselves available, regardless of the patient’s location. The patient who needs to have his or her chronic diabetic condition monitored, or the veteran who suffers from PTSD and needs access to his or her mental health specialist—these patients can receive the health care they need. eNcounter 4 combines appointment scheduling, vitals data collection, remote monitoring, and device aggregation of over 1,000 devices, giving physicians the ability to treat and diagnose patients in these remote areas.
We Create Solutions
Telemedicine as method of medical practice is not new. Telemedicine has been around as long as we’ve had telephones. What is new is the technology and resources available that make using telemedicine an attractive solution to the healthcare shortage we see happening.
Here at GlobalMed, we partner with leading medical groups, healthcare enterprises, and government agencies to create solutions that enable physicians to better manage their time and resources. Our solutions empower physicians to provide the healthcare patients deserve when they need it.