Reviving rural hospitals with telehealth

Telehealth has been criticized in the past as an expensive solution to a traditionally slow-to-adapt healthcare model. But more recent healthcare success stories show how cloud-based care delivery could revive failing health systems.

A 14-bed hospital in Idaho dodged near bankruptcy by implementing a telemedicine strategy, which is now complete with a fully functional telepharmacy, remote mental health services, and virtual consultations with patients up to 80 miles from the small medical center.

In addition to giving patients access to consultations, education, and flexible healthcare that was previously unavailable, rural hospitals could save an average of $81,000 per year by employing telehealth strategies, according to a report by NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association.

Now that more than half of all U.S. hospitals use some form of telehealth, says Jonathan Linkous, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association, cloud-based care is looking less like wishful thinking for the future, and more like healthcare’s much-needed progression happening in real-time.

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