Drops in patient readmission o patient readmissions

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Drops in Patient Readmission o Patient readmissions account for a large part of a hospitals costs. The readmission rate often rises when patients do not receive the proper care. “In 2011, hospitals spent $41.3 billion to treat patients readmitted within 30 days of discharge” (Principi, 2015). This can be observed as unnecessary expenditures as many of these readmission could have possibly been prevented. Improving individual patient care and understanding better management of follow-up maintenance would decrease a health care provider’s expenses. How Telehealth is used in Rural Areas Telehealth can enhance and help the rural society in several ways. One of these ways is through the use of telecommunications. Telecommunications essentially gives a provider electronic access to an individual’s situation enabling him/her to evaluate and determine a care plan for the patient. This type of provider care is particularly helpful for people residing in remote locations. Benefits include instantaneous, quality care without the need to travel a long distance. “Electronic communications can link providers that serve in isolated areas and create "virtual professional communities” (RHIhub, 2014) to improve patient care. The health care providers’ use of mobile devices, such as tablet computers and smartphones can improve communication to their patients as well as to other providers. It should be observed that not all of administrations of Telehealth are of a physical nature, however. There have been many times when mental health and psychological
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TELEHEALTH (DRAFT) 6 needs have come into question. These types of treatments can be handled as well through the use of remote care. Behavioral problems can be managed via the Internet via Skype video conferencing and online chats [McN11]. The Final Cause for Telehealth in Rural Areas The unique challenges that rural health care faces are not without warrant. Most specialists do not live within these remote locations and accesses to these skilled providers are especially difficult and often even impossible when time is a constraint. “Only about 10 percent of U.S. physicians practice in rural areas, with almost a quarter of the country's population living in these areas, according to a 2010 report issued by the Office of Rural Health Policy. The same report found the number of specialists per 100,000 people is 40 in rural areas, compared to 134 in urban areas” (Kutscher, 2014). These numbers are particularly alarming knowing that emergency situations can arise at any given time and expediency is of importance. Areas of Improvement Although there are numerous benefits to deploying Telehealth in rural areas, there are a few barriers that must be addressed. One barrier directly relates to Telehealth in rural areas while the other barriers relate to Telehealth in general. Some of those barriers include: Connectivity Physician/Provider Licensure Reimbursement Telehealth depends greatly upon telecommunication via the Internet that has good quality sound and a clear picture.
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  • Spring '14
  • Health care provider, telehealth, (DRAFT)

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