As Rural Patients Face Ever-Widening Health Deserts, Telemedicine Helps Fill The Gap
Telemedicine is so advanced these days that doctors can help direct nurses and other medical personnel step-by-step through emergencies while watching it unfold on the screen. As rural health care becomes more scarce, even as emergencies boom, the technology can mean the difference between life and death for some Americans.
The Washington Post:
The Most Remote Emergency Room: Life And Death In Rural America
A flashing red light summoned Dr. Brian Skow to his third emergency of the afternoon, and he hurried to a desk in a suburban office building. He sat in front of an oversize computer monitor, which showed a live video feed from inside a hospital room in eastern Montana. Two nurses were leaning over a patient on a stretcher, checking for a pulse, and squeezing oxygen out of a bag and into the patient’s lungs. “I’m Doctor Skow,” he said, waving into a camera attached to his computer, introducing himself as the presiding emergency physician even though he was seated more than 700 miles away. “How can we help you today?” (Saslow, 11/16)
In other rural health news —
Ballad Health Is Now Sole Owner Of Rural Virginia Hospital
Ballad Health has worked feverishly to consolidate services across its rural Southwest Virginia hospitals, with Norton Community Hospital emerging as the remaining inpatient hospital in its town. Now, the not-for-profit health system has bought out a minority owner's 49.9% stake in that hospital. The change means all of the hospital's revenue now flows to Johnson City, Tenn.-based Ballad, up from about half before the deal. (Bannow, 11/15)