Tag: rural health clinics

The Role of Remote Monitoring In Rural Communities: How Can It Provide Better Patient Care?

Jared Lisenby

By Jared Lisenby, chief sales officer, Azalea Health.

Telehealth services have become more popular, particularly after the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted its importance as a necessary solution for rural health clinics (RHCs).

RHCs face distinct business challenges, including serving patients at higher risk of chronic illnesses, limited resources, workforce shortages, and geographical isolation. These challenges require innovative solutions, and telehealth is one such solution.

Also known as telemedicine, telehealth empowers healthcare providers to care for patients without an office visit, saving time and money and allowing providers to see more patients. Care options require internet access and a computer, tablet, or smartphone, including phone or video consultations, secure messaging, email and file exchange.

Telehealth and the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) have allowed healthcare to extend beyond clinical settings into patients’ homes.

RPM device use is expected to increase

New solutions and offerings make Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) possible. This technology allows providers to manage acute and chronic conditions, gather vital signs and inform healthcare providers about a patient’s progress while reducing travel costs and infection risk.

Doing so allows providers to make real-time decisions and course-correct care as needed, potentially reducing patient costs in the long run and leading to better healthcare outcomes.

Remote patient monitoring is useful in conjunction with telehealth, particularly for patients who require consistent monitoring for certain health conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart conditions. It can also help prevent complications in patients who have difficulty traveling.

RPM devices can include meters and monitors for glucose, heart rate, and blood oxygen levels. Patients with some of these chronic conditions are usually eligible for RPM devices and services.

According to Insider Intelligence, about 30 million Americans will be using one this year.

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The Increased Importance of Telehealth and Remote Healthcare

Subverting Competition in Healthcare May Force Price ...

The recent global medical crisis forced people into isolation and even quarantine environments. It also revealed weaknesses in such areas as medical translation and interpretation services that were previously viewed more as a matter of convenience rather than as an absolute necessity.

There is talk today of an imminent second wave of the Coronavirus crisis and further lock-downs and more extensive isolation being put in place to stem the spread of the virus. Is the telehealth industry ready for a new wave? What weaknesses in remote health care remain to be addressed? What does the future of telehealth hold to help not only in times of crisis but in everyday life?

Remote Healthcare, Telehealth, and Medical Interpretation Services

There was a time in the not-so-distant past, and even to this day in many cases, where medical interpretation services are seen as more of a nuisance than they are a real benefit. In the United States, this is especially common with Spanish interpretation but remains a common occurrence that can be effectively resolved with remote medical interpreters and other telehealth solutions. The role of remote medical interpreters should increase in use and importance in the world of telehealth and telemedicine.

The role of the medical interpreter can be exceptionally challenging, especially given the lack of specific knowledge regarding medical terminology. In lieu of a more pleasant sampling, the example here will focus on the specificity of relevant medical terminology that is especially important given the nature of the coronavirus pandemic.

When individuals are gathered in a more informal conversation regarding colds, cases of flu and COVID-19, they may refer to a more generic word like “spit.” In reality, this is not so much a medical term as phlegm, saliva, and mucus, all three of which have a more specific medical meaning, and all three of which are very relevant to a proper diagnosis and treatment, most notably in terms of any potential respiratory disorders such as those produced by the Coronavirus family.

Any time when someone who is not a professional or certified medical interpreter is used, there is an increased risk that the precise medical meaning of the term may not be fully understood in either language, and the incorrect translation will result in a misdiagnosis.

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