One of the most pressing issues in modern medicine is the need to improve rural healthcare. This challenge hits particularly close to home, as Renown Health is the only provider covering 100,000 square miles in northern Nevada, an area that’s mostly rural.
People in rural areas suffer from chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and respiratory disease, at higher rates than the general population. One of the largest contributors to these health disparities is a lack of access to health services. Many rural communities have fewer providers and care facilities. This forces residents to travel farther to receive preventive care and medical treatment. We must identify ways to better support the health needs of the millions of Americans who live in rural communities.
Ideas for improving rural healthcare
Health systems must identify innovative ways to leverage existing resources and new technologies to care for patients in these communities. For example, telehealth can help diminish a peron’s need to travel long distances to receive specialty care. Similarly, online classes can help educate patients about preventive behaviors. Remote monitoring technology also allows patients to track their health conditions from home.
Additionally, we can address physician shortages by empowering health professionals such as nurse practitioners, physician assistants and technologists to care for patients. These providers receive excellent training and have demonstrated success in improving health outcomes.
Renown Health cares for people from diverse backgrounds and we are dedicated to caring for patients in every community we serve.