Rural Critical Access Hospital – Part I

Paper details You are a nurse executive of ‘Small Town Hospital’. This rural 20 bed hospital with 24/7 emergency care capability has served the population of 25,000 for decades. However, loss of revenue streams have significantly impacted Small Town Hospital’s ability to remain profitable. Although the hospital remains a major employer, incrementally physicians and product lines have left. This rural community has a 35% poverty rate, with many residents dependent on Medicare and Medicaid. Emergent issues can be treated and stabilized, but patients requiring complex care are treated at the nearest medical center 75 miles away. The 20 acute care beds are used primarily for low acuity medical-surgical patients. Similarly, specialty outpatient services are generally not available at Small Town. The hospital does own a medical office building adjacent to the acute care facility where primary care is provided by 1 MD, 1 PA, and 1 APRN. In general, recruiting and retaining physicians, PAs and APRNs has been problematic, in part because of the economic uncertainty of the hospital. In an attempt to capture some of the specialty care, partnering via telemedicine with a major metropolitan health system is under consideration. You are part of an interdisciplinary team exploring this option. You are hopeful that this option might help keep the doors open, but are also aware that outcome data related to telemedicine has been mixed. Part I – Background information related to rural health and telemedicine. Part II – Business Plan specific to Small Town Hospital (due Week 9). Paper Components Introduction – Set the stage for reader. Challenges of Rural Health – Help the reader understand unique challenges of rural Americans face relative to healthcare. Telemedicine – Report the pros and cons of telemedicine in general as well as the potential utility of telemedicine to address access issues for rural America. Look at lecture video for an overview:

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