A new study from the University of Iowa finds rural hospitals that use telemedicine to back up their emergency room health care providers not only save money but find it easier to recruit new physicians.
Marcia Ward, study author and professor of health management and policy in the UI College of Public Health, says the results suggest that expanded use of tele-emergency services could play a key role in helping small, rural critical access hospitals maintain their emergency rooms.
“The study finds that expanding options for provider coverage to include telemedicine in some rural emergency departments has noticeable benefits,” says Ward, whose study was published Dec. 3 in the December issue of the journal Health Affairs. “This supports the viability of critical access hospitals at risk of closing and leaving their communities without local emergency care.”
Additional Media Coverage
U-I report finds telemedicine saves money, helps draw doctors (Radio Iowa)