Rural hospitals are facing the risk of closure due to pressure from the rising costs of mounting regulations and declining populations.
Since 2010, 76 rural hospitals have closed, according to the Deseret News.
“There’s no smoking gun. It’s just a thousand paper cuts that add up to a real effect,” Mark Holmes, program director at the Rural Health Research Program at the University of North Carolina told the newspaper.
Rural hospitals can serve as economic engines for small towns. They also provide access to mental health care and social services.
A shift to electronic records requires costly new IT and security systems, the newspaper reported.
In Utah, San Juan Hospital implemented a new system, but underestimated the cost and didn’t accurately estimate the incentives they would get in return, according to Deseret News.
This is a common story for many rural hospitals. Having a connection to a large hospital system can help, but not all have that opportunity.
Read more at deseretnews.com.
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