Technology could help solve physician shortage in local areas

While most of the healthcare world is busy preparing to transition to the latest medical billing software and electronic medical records software, residents in the rural areas of America are struggling to receive care. However, a recent report by the Columbia Daily Tribune indicates technology could be a solution to this problem.

"Access to care is crucial, but in Missouri, there are regions that don’t have enough primary care professionals to serve residents," Thomas McAuliffe, a policy analyst for the Missouri Foundation for Health, told the Tribune.

According to the Missouri Hospital Association, for instance, the current climate for patients in the state is "alarming." In a report the organization released this summer, it found that there is only one primary care physician for every 960 patients in its metropolitan areas. By comparison, in rural areas of the state, this figure can rise as high as one for every 1,776 patients, the news source says.

Part of the reason for this shortage is the lifestyle family care doctors lead. Even if they are working in the best facilities with EMR computer hardware and eprescribing tools to cut down the time it takes them to perform essential tasks, these doctors need to be on call 24 hours a day.

However, advanced computers make it capable for physicians to see patients in remote areas without the travel time that often contributed to this hectic work schedule. By using tablet computers and video conferencing technology, physicians can communicate with these patients in real time.

This may very well be the future of medical technology, but facilities need to ensure their computers are uptodate before they can take advantage of this new ability. For the best solutions, physicians facing this predicament can work with an organization that sells top-notch computer software – like those sold by Medisoft and Allscripts – to doctors with extra incentives such as installation.