Rural Health Day and the Need for More Care Options

Posted by Deirdre Wilson on Nov 15, 2018 3:35:00 PM

More than 60 million Americans live in rural communities, where small hospitals strain to stay open amid increasing healthcare demands and dwindling revenue. Today, Nov. 15, 2018, is for them, and for the dedicated healthcare providers among them.

It’s National Rural Health Day, the third Thursday in November designated by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health to celebrate rural healthcare providers and call attention to the unique health needs of rural populations. More than 80 small community hospitals have closed since 2010; hundreds of others struggle to survive.

Telehealth services, now offered by several healthcare systems nationwide, have become a lifeline for rural patients who can’t always travel the distances required to reach urban hospitals for care. Physicians and other healthcare providers electronically communicate “face to face” with these patients to help them manage everything from influenza to chronic conditions such as diabetes or congestive heart failure.

But as demand for long-distance healthcare grows, telehealth isn’t the only solution (nor the best one) available to healthcare providers.

Read More

Topics: Patient Experience, Improving Patient Outcomes, Population Health, Innovation

Using Digital Health Technology to Improve Health Literacy

Posted by Bill Lindsay on Jun 22, 2017 2:12:00 PM

Only 12% of American adults are considered health literate. Why does this matter to patients and healthcare providers alike?

First, high levels of health literacy are associated with better patient self-care and outcomes. Second, attentiveness to this can be an effective way to improve population health. Digital health technology is a means to this end. 

Read More

Topics: Patient Engagement, Population Health, Healthcare Technology, Innovation

How Can Hospitals Use Texting to Improve Patient Care?

Posted by Jackie Simon on Jan 18, 2017 11:00:00 AM

When was the last time you talked to your friend? Your mother? Your old college roommate? Now think—did you actually talk to them? In person or on the phone?

If you’re like most Americans, you probably conversed with them via text, email or social media. In fact, a recent Gallup poll finds that texting and email are the most frequently used forms of non-personal communication for adult Americans. So is a cellphone, because even when we do use a phone, it’s typically not a landline, the survey reveals.

For all Americans under age 50, the survey finds that texting is the most dominant form of communication.

Given these changes in our own everyday interactions, why does the healthcare industry insist on sticking with old forms of communication?

Healthcare needs to embrace email and text as the preferred and most efficient patient-provider communication methods, just as we have accepted—and really, expected—email and text communication in our daily lives.

Read More

Topics: Innovation, Value-Based Care, Healthcare Technology, Improving Patient Outcomes, Patient Experience, Population Health, Texting in Healthcare

Immunization: It’s a Population Health Issue

Posted by Betsy Weaver, Ed.D. on Jul 13, 2015 4:37:58 PM

Decades after vaccines effectively wiped out serious diseases such as polio, measles and mumps in the United States, immunization—particularly for children—continues to be debated and even avoided. A notable minority of parents don’t keep up with their children’s vaccine schedule or forego immunization, citing concerns about vaccine safety, a link to autism (despite the lack of any definitive evidence), “too many” vaccines in the early childhood years, or their child’s distress at receiving an injection.

Read More

Topics: Population Health, Value-Based Care