Rural healthcare faces significant challenges in areas of quality & health equity, such as:
1. Workforce shortages
Current healthcare provider shortages are more pronounced in rural areas. The pandemic exacerbated historic workforce shortages – something that rural areas have felt disproportionately.
2. A Complex Patient Population
Rural populations have lower life expectancy and worse health outcomes compared to urban counterparts. Education, race, poverty, reduced access to health services and rurality are strong predictors of mortality risk. Rural populations are often older, have higher rates of substance abuse and mental health conditions and a greater burden of chronic disease.
3. Financial and Infrastructure Strain
Since 2011, there have been more hospital closures than openings in the U.S., with about two-thirds in rural areas. Since 2013, one-third of all closed U.S. hospitals were more than 20 miles from another hospital, potentially worsening outcomes for patients requiring urgent treatment in the areas of closure.
4. Competing Local Priorities
Rural hospitals and clinics struggle with the vast number of initiatives needing attention each year, such as patient safety, access to care, community integration, workforce, patient and family engagement, public health emergencies, the opioid crisis, health equity and others.
Rural practices struggle to build sustainable processes for continuous improvement that become deeply embedded in everyday workflows. It is difficult to address staff shortages and build sustainability amidst high staff turnover.
Telligen is committed to advancing rural health equity through our work on various contracts such as the Frontier Community Health Integration Program (FHIP), Hospital Quality Improvement Contractor (HQIC) and American Indian Native Healthcare Quality Initiative (AIHQI) using quality improvement and technical assistance techniques to help improve rural healthcare and bring high-quality, low-cost care to rural Americans.
To learn more about our rural healthcare efforts, contact us today.