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Technology Helps Care Delivery

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On a recent flight, I read a wonderful article in HFMA’s magazine on using technology to address care delivery challenges. The case study of using eICU to help keep a rural hospital’s unit open fit in nicely with my comments in the Mission Critical: Telemedicine in the ICU article. The hospital staff have two mobile workstations that can be moved to any of the ICU or two ER Trauma bays, as needed. The technology is used for monitoring patients at night and it has contributed to reduced length of stay and improved outcomes. More importantly, it helped the hospital recruit a new internist so that patients can obtain quality care in their own community. The community-wide EHR and e-visit case studies were also timely. But keep in mind, telemedicine’s bottleneck and limited/non-existent broadband access in some communities. The FCCs Rural Broadband Capacity Survey found the average download bandwidth at rural hospitals and clinics to be between 382 and 196, and that really isn’t enough for HIE (of data available in EHRs) or downloading images and video.

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