When we think of top hospitals in the U.S., we are usually not thinking about hospitals situated in the middle of miles of cornfields and silos. Yet, there are plenty of them saving lives every day in those fly-over states with capital names you can’t recall.
Rural hospitals have indeed been closing, leaving many of the people in these areas feeling uneasy about what will happen if they need care. Thankfully, technology can do a lot to make rural hospitals more competitive and able to reach a wider swath of patients as well.
They say that necessity is the mother of invention. When the need is there but the proximity to medical care is difficult, the only reasonable answer is innovation. There have been many strides made in this space that would be advantageous for rural hospitals to implement.
These are technology solutions that have been at work for quite a while, that have now been adapted for use in the rural medical community. Being able to implement these technology solutions would make rural hospitals more competitive and will drastically reduce hospital readmissions.
Best Technologies To Make Rural Hospitals More Competitive
Telehealth is making amazing headway into rural areas and urban settings alike, and for good reason; better operations. For patients who have transportation or mobility challenges, telehealth helps to bridge the gaps in patient care in more ways than one.
For instance, telehealth is being utilized to triage conditions before a patient even comes to an Emergency Room. This allows the hospital staff to ascertain what the medical need is and direct the patient on what, if any, emergency intervention is needed.
When a patient utilizes telehealth services for triage, especially a solution connected directly with the hospital they are seeking care, the Emergency Room can anticipate what is coming and when, prior to the patient arriving.
This provides a better experience for patient care overall and significantly cuts down on operating costs. For rural patients, knowing whether or not they need to make the trek into town to the hospital is the welcome change they are looking for.
IoMT technology is another great way to make rural hospitals more competitive. These devices are designed to monitor patient health status via the Internet. In short, they make testing and patient care go where it hasn’t gone since the age of home doctor visits; in patient living rooms. These wearable devices can monitor:
- Heart rate
- Blood pressure
- Blood sugar
- Unique biology
- Patient activity
- Patient treatment follow through
Imagine the possibilities with IoMT in a rural setting. No longer must patients drive to hospitals for routine follow-ups and monitoring. Patient information is uploaded on-demand from the medical device and fed right into the patient’s EHR. Technology, convenience, and efficient operation; what else would make rural hospitals more competitive?
The latest trend in Healthcare that can easily be implemented into the operations of a rural healthcare system is patient record systems that allow the patient access to their own medical chart and the ability to provide feedback, all from one solution. Studies on patient charts that give the patient access are staggeringly successful. With patient able to access to their own medical charts, patients are reporting:
- A better understanding of their condition
- Read and educate themselves further
- The convenience of continual access to treatment plans
- Feeling safer with a way to alert medical staff of changes
- Confidence in providing feedback on treatment
The two surprising demographics of people most satisfied with open patient charts? The elderly and ESL patients. This one way to make rural hospitals more competitive and efficient.
Giving Patients Access To Medical Information And Better Doctor-Patient Communication
Most EHRs are on closed systems and without outside access to the information contained within. 3rd party solutions are needed to bring the patient and the EHR together for better patient outcomes and experiences. eCare Vault is able to provide this solution in a cost-effective way that most rural hospitals can afford. This cloud-based, HIPAA secure solution is completely EHR agnostic and able to implemented so patients get what they need from wherever they are and doctors can provide excellent care, whether the patient is in front of them or not.
If you’d like more information on what eCare Vault can do for your rural patients, contact us today for a free demonstration. Making patient access easy and safe is what we do; for the full lifecycle of the patient.