Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wonderment Wednesday: The South Carolina Rural Health Research Center Is Going STAR WARS

We don't know about you, but we here at the South Carolina Rural Health Research Center IS PUMPED for this Thursday. After sitting on the edge of our seats for the past year, Star Wars: The Force Awakens finally opens in theaters. We're not pumped because of all the lightsaber fights we have been recreating at the South Carolina Rural Health Research Center.

Rather, it means we can finally stop hearing everyone and their parents talk about Star Wars and how much nostalgia the trailers bring them. Before we change our profile pictures to have lightsabers, listen to the Notorious B.I.G. Star Wars mix, and fully engross ourselves in the Star Wars hype, let me pose this important question:

Will a galaxy far far away that has all this futuristic equipment include health information technology (IT)? Would it even have something called Wonderment Wednesday that talks about.......

4 Facts On Health IT
1. Health IT makes a difference
In a study that was published by Chaudry and friends, it looked at different studies that looked at the impact of health IT. In short, the study found that health IT did indeed help improve quality and efficiency of care.

2. Health IT isn't some fancy operation
Many times when people think of health IT, they think of large expensive operations requiring futuristic new machines and special suits to operate.

However, that isn't always the case. In this paper written by Dr. Kevin J. Bennett, it looked at the effects of just improving the paperwork associated with health IT work. Essentially, the paperwork was customized to the needs of the academic center. The result? A 5% increase in completed charts.

3. Rural residents are less likely to have internet
Since we are the South Carolina Rural Health Research Center, we couldn't get too far without talking about rural at least once. One problem facing rural residents is the distance they need to drive, which is why the internet is important. In this study, written by Dr. Jong-Yi Wang, it found that people living in rural areas were less likely to have internet than people in urban areas. Most importantly, minorities and people with medical conditions were less likely to use the internet.

4. Rural health providers need a lot of help
This is not just a patient level problem when it comes to health information technology, it is also an organization problem. In a study published Dr. Amy Martin, it looked at the differences between rural hospitals and rural primary care providers in South Carolina on: a. telemedicine adoption, b. telemedicine training needs c. current use of technology for patient care, In all three metrics, rural hospitals were more likely to fare better than their rural primary care providers. Unfortunately, this highlights the overwhelming need in rural areas for a stronger primary care workforce.

In the meantime, remember to give a nice tap on that subscribe button to the very bottom or top left hand side of this page to read more about the South Carolina Rural Health Research Center.We will be taking the next few weeks off, so until next time, take care!


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