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Reinventing Rural Health Care

A thoughtful article from futurist Ian Morrison on Reinventing Rural Health Care.

Among Morrison's excellent recommendations is a high-tech approach to rural health care:

"Rural communities have as much right to high-quality health care as the rest of us. But the answer can't simply be providing sufficient cost-based reimbursement to keep all systems doing what they are doing, especially if they are under scale for true quality care. In my view, the solutions will come through a reinvention of rural health care delivery, including:
  • imaginative use of contemporary information and communications technology;

  • regionalized quality improvement initiatives;

  • rationalized deployment of clinical technology and human resources."
I'm struck by the many innovative, simple, low-cost models and mobile technologies already at work in rural areas. The problem is they're in central Africa, not central Iowa. We're stuck with a Hill-Burton driven, cost-reimbursement-fueled edifice complex where it's easier to spend $20 million on a fancy new building than $20 thousand on mobile technology to help diabetics better manage their disease.




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