Accessible Healthcare for Rural and Low Income Populations
Write about Accessible Healthcare for Rural and Low Income Populations
Accessible Healthcare for Rural and Low Income Populations
Technology is an important factor which can significantly benefit the members of the rural and low-income destinations. Gould (2018) provides an indication of the fact that technology has enhanced the life of the people living in the remote and rural areas. Applications which support the connection and ensure instant communication along with the machines and devices which reduce the reliance on the urban-based facilities have enhanced living in the rural areas. Within the field of healthcare, the use of technology has enhanced the rate of quality care access. This paper examines the impact of the healthcare technology on the low-income earners living in rural destinations.
The Impact of the healthcare Technology on the low-income Earners
Healthcare technology has significantly benefited the low-income earners available in the rural destination. One of the positive impacts includes the elimination of the geographic barriers experienced by the people in the rural areas, specifically as a result of limited infrastructure. Notably, the limited infrastructure as well as the retention of the quality healthcare professionals within the rural destinations has forced the residents to spend their time and money to cities with a focus on accessing specialized treatment. Gould (2018) indicates that the patients in the rural destinations, such as those residing in South Island of New Zealand, travel for more than an hour to attend a 30-minute healthcare appointment. This is regarded as a waste of energy, resources and time for the unwell patient and their immediate families.
EHRs and Telehealth technology and applicability to the rural, low-income population
However, with the onset of the internet technology, Electronic Health Records (EHRs) have been established to assist in population health management. This technology has enabled the healthcare providers to consider the patient’s past medical history despite their location. When the low-income earners residing in the rural destinations share their information electronically, the patients can obtain timely and accurate care without necessarily traveling over the long distance to access it. Notably, the clinicians will be able to evaluate and view previous visit notes, diagnoses and tests an later correspond between other care professionals to make a personalized and accurate care (Gould, 2018). In the events where specialist support is needed, the telehealth systems can be utilized to provide remote consultation services as well as convenient diagnosis efforts for the clinicians and the patients.
Despite the fact that the EHRs are advantageous in encouraging timely and accurate diagnosis, it is evident that setting up the technological system is time consuming and costly. For the system to be fully functional, it is recommended that the system users should be trained about how to manipulate the system for an effective outcome (Gould, 2018). This is also a downside recorded in the case of the telehealth systems. Arguably, healthcare professionals should be trained on how to use the system after it has been set up (Gould, 2018). The obtained evidence about the impacts of the use of technology is consistent with the implementation in nursing practice. Evidently, nurses are required to undergo through a mandatory training to ensure that they master how to effective use technology to derive their full functionality (Gould, 2018).
Barriers and cost
The most significant barriers associated with the use of EHRs and telehealth systems includes lack of available funding to support the implementation of the system in rural destination, lack of national code and standards set governing the use of the EHRs, and the lack of system interoperability especially in rural areas (HealthIT.gov, 2020). Implementing the use of EHRs and telehealth systems in the rural destinations is a costly process. Evidently, the estimated cost of setting up the EHRs per provider includes a value between $15,000 and $ 70,000 (HealthIT.gov, 2020). On the other hand, the estimated cost for setting up a telehealth system is estimated at a value between $10,000 and $100,000 for a large firm on an annual basis (Adracare, 2020).
Care coordination and the utilization of community resources
In the rural destination with low-income earners, care coordination has proven to be effective in enhancing clinical outcomes as well as enhancing the cost outcomes. Through care coordination, as provided by bodies such as Medicare, the low income earners residing in the rural areas are provided with an opportunity to access quality care despite their financial challenges and hence an improved health outcome (Williams et al., 2019). On the contrary, Gould (2018) states that care coordination are not effective in meeting the patient outcomes especially in the events when the nurses lack the required experience to coordinate care. The utilization of community resources such as the incorporation of technology within the field of medicine results to improved care outcomes. This is reflected by the accurate and efficient diagnosis as specialist knowledge is not always available at the care point (Williams et al., 2019). Despite this, other researchers argue that the utilization of the community resource is not an effective factor which enhances patient care outcomes since it is associated with cost barriers which discourage their usage. The derived evidence is consistent with what is currently experienced in nursing practice.
A potential barrier related with the use of care coordination and community resources includes the lack of financial support for the program development in the rural areas due to the increased rates of patient’s non-compliance to the requirements and the increased rates of missed appointments (Williams et al., 2019).
Different governmental policies such as The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act are associated with healthcare technology. This policy guides that health should be promoted through the use of IT to ensure safety and efficiency of the service delivery (Adler-Milstein & Jha, 2017). The
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is also a governmental policy associated with care coordination. This is focused on upholding the security of the patient data even under the use of the technological systems. The Rural Health policy is also a governmental policy established to govern the community resources distribution. This policy is focused on ensuring the equitable distribution of resources even in rural areas by promoting their affordability to attract quality care delivery in the destination (Adler-Milstein & Jha, 2017).
The local, state and federal policies have been effective in ensuring that technology is continually implemented for use in the rural destinations to ensure the delivery of effective care to improve quality outcomes. The policies have also positively influenced community resources and care coordination by advocating for equality in the distribution of resources and the coordination of care with a positive outcome being reflected in the delivery of quality care among the low-income earners.
When it comes to applying technology, nursing ethics will act as a guide on matters such as patient security, especially when safeguarding personal patient information. On care coordination, the nursing ethics will guide me to exercise the principle of fairness to ensure that even low-income earners access quality care with the assistance of bodies such as the Medicare. On community resources, the principle of justice will also be applicable to guarantee that even people living in the rural areas are considered when it comes to resources distribution for an effective care delivery.
Adler-Milstein, J., & Jha, A. K. (2017). HITECH act drove large gains in hospital electronic health record adoption. Health Affairs, 36(8), 1416-1422. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2016.1651
Adracare, (2020). The Average Cost of Telehealth and Telemedicine Software. Retrieved from https://www.adracare.com/blog/telehealth-and-telemedicine-software-cost
HealthIT.gov, (2020). How much is this going to cost me?. Retrieved from https://www.healthit.gov/faq/how-much-going-cost-me#:~:text=The%20Basics,%2415%2C000%20to%20%2470%2C000%20per%20provider.
Williams, M. D., Asiedu, G. B., Finnie, D., Neely, C., Egginton, J., Finney Rutten, L. J., & Jacobson, R. M. (2019). Sustainable care coordination: a qualitative study of primary care provider, administrator, and insurer perspectives. BMC health services research, 19(1), 92. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-019-3916-5