According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 80 percent of the U.S. population lives in urban areas. Perhaps this explains why there is a predominance of infrastructure and resources located in these regions…or maybe it is vice versa. Regardless, healthcare in rural areas suffers as a result and virtual healthcare is proving to be the resolution.
Urban areas provide commodities such as grocery stores, shopping malls, and healthcare clinics within close geographical range. This allows for shorter drive or walk times to these locations, thus giving a sense of comfort, especially when it comes to healthcare needs. For 80 percent of the U.S. population, a healthcare crisis can be averted rapidly since healthcare facilities are within close distance.
However, the other 20 percent of the population—those in rural areas—don’t enjoy this benefit. For this portion of the country’s residents, a health issue becomes a greater risk. Without access to rapid treatments, morbidity and mortality take on a higher probability.
Access to healthcare in rural areas
Irreversible brain damage can occur after just a few minutes without oxygen. For patients living in rural areas where drive time to a hospital or clinic could be 30 minutes or more, a few minutes are not available to spare. In these cases, medical care is needed immediately.
When providers offer virtual healthcare services for patients living in rural areas, treatments are available much sooner. With the help of a virtual clinician, individuals or other medical staff surrounding a patient in need can gain access to necessary, life-saving procedures.
Doctors in cubicles
Providers offering telemedicine services through their practice aren’t only helping non-clinical individuals through online appointments and visits. They are also supporting staff members whose credentials are limited.
For instance, a Montana emergency room visit was the beneficiary of virtual healthcare when a patient was brought in unresponsive and there was no doctor onsite. Nurses in the E.R. were able to utilize telemedicine by communicating with a doctor virtually.
In this instance, the virtual physician was able to walk the staff through the process of reviving the patient. Had there been no virtual healthcare available to this Montana hospital, the patient may have expired under their watch.
Virtual healthcare is changing the way we practice medicine
Major telemedicine companies are offering physicians the ability to diagnose and treat patients virtually, while sitting at a cubicle, at a desk, or on the couch at home. If you have a computer, tablet, or smartphone, you can add a revenue stream.
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