Rural Healthcare is in Distress: What can we do to save it?
One of our clients has recently pointed us to a very moving TED talk by Tee Faircloth on issues faced by rural hospitals in the U.S. “Why we ALL have a stake in solving the rural healthcare crisis”.
In his TED Talk, Tee Faircloth , CEO of Coordinated Care Inc., discusses the plight of 70 million Americans who depend on the ever shrinking pool of rural hospitals (over a 100 of which have closed since 2010), and the affect that has on hospitals, both big and small, across this country. According to the Bureau of Workforce Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), since December of 2018, over 7,000 areas in the U.S. have been classified has having professional health shortages, 60% of which are located in rural areas.
With the creation of Coordinated Care Inc., Tee adds to his 20-year track record of saving companies from going under by working with legislators, state governments, academic institutions and national rural health advocates to drive innovations that not only improve growth in rural hospitals, but also benefit patient care.
According to a recent poll performed by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 1 out of every 4 rural inhabitants say they weren’t able to get the healthcare they needed recently, a quarter of those stating that was due to the not having access to a nearby health care facility.
Tee addresses the fact that rural hospitals are in dire straights and desperate to keep their doors open because of a decreasing patient censuses and lack of revenue due to:
- A declining population
- Economic stagnation
- Shortage of physicians and health care professionals
- Disproportionate number of elderly, poor, and underinsured residents and a heavy dependence on Medicare and Medicaid
- High rates of chronic illness
Tee contrasts that with the overcrowding, complicated processes and procedures and inability of large urban hospitals to provide specialized care and talks about the solutions to these problems being an organized system of care that unscrambles complicated processes and procedures and provides for improved patient care delivery.
HospitalPORTAL has had the privilege of working with hundreds of rural and critical care access hospitals throughout the United States providing intranet and policy & procedure management solutions.
Having personally visited many of these institutions, we have witnessed first hand the importance these medical institutions have on the community, the economy, and the people they serve.
Also, without exceptions we have also witnessed:
- Rural hospitals have the highest level of professionalism, dedication, and compassion for the patients they serve, along with a passion for the work they do, their jobs, and one another
- From CEOs to nurses to housekeeping staff – most are eager to participate in any intranet or policy management system implementation project that will lead to improved patient care and have affect on their community
- The technical abilities of IT professionals in rural hospitals are on par with larger health systems
- Rural hospitals can effectively undertake and complete challenging projects such as Intranet or Policy Management System implementation – often faster and more effectively than larger metropolitan health system
As a vendor that often works alongside rural hospitals, spending a few days at a time at each site getting to know the dedicated healthcare professionals, HospitalPORTAL can attest to the importance these institutions play in their communities. Not only are they often the biggest employer in the communities they serve – but these rural and critical care access hospitals are often the only point of healthcare for miles around.
It is with great pride and satisfaction that we are able to do our small part in “redesigning” rural healthcare with effective policy and procedure management solutions, organized communication streams via our intranet platform including and digital community webpages with the most up-to-date listing of events and announcements. We hope that while we help these institutions boost their bottom line and better serve their patients, we’re also helping them better connect to the communities they serve.
Visit HospitalPORTAL website to learn about our healthcare specific Intranet platform or access our blog page with many helpful blogs on best practices for healthcare intranets implementation and management.