Technologyto Improve Outcomes
Thisreport captures the discussion of several issues facing rural healthcare providers` efforts towards delivery of quality care as well asin the provision of recommendations on how such problems can beaddressed. The provision for quality health care for Americans livingin rural areas, across the nation, remains a challenge despite themany programs and policies that are aimed at improving access tohealth care centers and providers. Around a fifth of population livesin the outskirts or rural areas, and yet only 10% of the physicianspractice in such zones. Most of the rural area population travel longdistances just to access the services of a specialist, and theynormally do so after months of waiting for an appointment. Healthcare provision centers, in rural areas, mostly lack the necessarytechnology to manage and monitor patients upon their release from themedical center. The recommendations for such challenges includecoming up with some technologies that would cater for the patients,who are discharged from hospitals and cannot travel back forfollow-up appoints [ CITATION Kim14 l 1033 ].
IssuesFacing Rural Health Care Providers` Efforts to Deliver Quality Care
Suchproviders, in rural areas, face some problems or challenges in theirefforts to deliver quality health care to the residents. The firstchallenge, they face, is under-resourced infrastructures in the ruralareas, which makes it hard for them to access some regions. In someextreme cases, they have to spend days navigating difficult terrainsto reach most people suffering in those isolated areas. The scarcityof specialized health care is another challenge that providers in thecountryside have to put up with. It is estimated that only elevenpercent of the American physicians practice in the rural areas sincemost of them prefer practicing in urban centers. Such a percentage isvery low because the physicians have to attend to the largepopulation of Americans living in rural areas. Non-governmentalorganizations estimate that nearly a fifth of the population residesin the countryside areas. Rural areas also pose another issue ofhaving a predominantly older population, which is suffering fromchronic diseases. Most people after retiring migrate from urbansettings to rural areas hence, the population of senior citizenskeeps increasing in such. Such a community needs a lot ofpersonalized health care, and since the existing number of physiciansis not enough, the issue presents a significant challenge [ CITATION Ash11 l 1033 ].
InformationManagement Tools and Technologies to Monitor and Improve Outcomes
Theuse of information management tools and techniques in the provisionof health care to people in rural areas is meant to achieve healthequity. The move is intended to solve the rural challenges ofinfrastructure and patients having to travel long distances to see aphysician. Most providers also argue that most regions in thecountryside lack the necessary infrastructure thus, making itdifficult for them to reach patients. The practical use ofinformation management tools and technologies by health careprofessionals can bring about patient-centered medical informationand services. Patient-centered health care focuses on addressing theissues or challenges affecting the patient through a more directapproach. Medics can strategically make use of such tools,technologies, as well as effective health communication processes toimprove health care quality and safety. The use of informationtechnology, also, can ensure efficient delivery of health services,and that the public gets the desired services at the appropriatetime. Coming up with some technologies can also address the challengeof infrastructure since health care providers will not be required totravel long distances to reach patients in remote areas. Also,adopting the use of information management and information tools alsomeans that patients can consult and interact with health carepractitioners remotely thus, avoiding long distances travelling toacquire such services [ CITATION Don13 l 1033 ].
Accessto health care information for patients is necessary and making someimprovements can help residents in rural areas save lives.Disparities in the access to the available medical information canlead to reduced usage of preventive services hence, prevention ofdiseases is hard in such areas.
Ensuringaccess to health care services in rural areas continues to be an areaof concern due to the lack of the necessary technology. The use ofthe internet and other technological innovations can go a long way inensuring that the delivery of health care information is streamlined.Some of the new technologies that can be used in solving thechallenges, in rural areas, include videoconferencing, M-health, ande-consult. The M-health technology is useful to people living inrural areas since it contains applications that enable patients tohave readily available information on how to handle some situationswhenever they occur. Such application programs come in handy duringemergencies since patients do not have to travel long distances toaccess the information from a physician. Videoconferencing is anotherrevolutionary innovation that enables patients to attend appointmentsremotely without having to go to the doctor. The e-consult platformenables patients to seek specialized health through the internet, butthe challenge of the platform is that the patient must have theinternet connection. Nevertheless, the platform allows the physiciansto upload the patient`s history on the web where a specialist canreadily access it when necessary [ CITATION Don13 l 1033 ].
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