How telehospice can improve the quality of rural care

How telehospice can improve the quality of rural care

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Hospice care ensures dignity and comfort in life’s final stages. In rural America, accessing quality hospice and palliative care remains a daunting challenge. These regions are often in need of a better healthcare infrastructure to avoid a significant gap in care.

The situation is exacerbated by the limited availability of specialized healthcare professionals in rural areas, further complicating the provision of essential end-of-life care. It’s not just a matter of logistics but also equality in healthcare access.

Telehospice is a revolutionary approach that harnesses the power of technology to bring compassionate care to the doorsteps of those who need it the most. It transcends physical barriers, offering a blend of virtual and in-person care that promises to redefine how hospice services are delivered in rural settings. It ensures that every individual, regardless of location, has access to the dignity and comfort they deserve in their final days.

By exploring the following, we’ll understand how telehospice helps those in rural regions get the hospice and palliative care they need and improves their quality of care.

  • Current challenges in rural care
  • What telehospice in rural care looks like
  • Three benefits of telehospice for rural care
  • The future of rural hospice and palliative care

female patient video chats with nurse on ipad

Current challenges in rural care 

Rural hospice care faces unique obstacles that stem from its geographical and demographic characteristics. The vast distances in rural areas significantly hinder access to healthcare, compounded by a need for more healthcare professionals specialized in palliative care, resulting in fewer resources and support for patients.

Additionally, the rural healthcare infrastructure often requires more sophistication, as found in urban centers, leading to a gap in the quality and variety of available hospice services. These challenges affect the physical delivery of care and place emotional and financial strains on patients and their families, who must navigate these complexities while coping with the demands of end-of-life care.

What telehospice for rural care looks like 

Telehospice in rural care represents a fusion of technology and healthcare, designed to transcend geographical boundaries while improving costs. It provides hospice services through digital tools like video conferencing and remote monitoring while facilitating real-time communication between patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers, ensuring continuous support and guidance.

Telehospice also allows for the delivery of personalized care plans and adjustment of treatments based on real-time data and patient feedback, all while the patient remains in the comfort of their home. It bridges the distance between caregivers and their patients and brings a new dimension of care to rural communities, making hospice care more accessible, affordable, and responsive to their needs.

Three benefits of telehospice for rural care

Benefit 1: Enhanced access to care

Telehospice significantly enhances access to healthcare for rural patients, breaking down the traditional barriers imposed by geography and ensuring that high-quality hospice and palliative care reaches those in remote areas, where such services are often limited or unavailable.

It empowers patients and their families by providing them with immediate access to support and advice, reducing the sense of isolation often experienced in rural settings. This approach not only improves the quality of life for patients but also eases the emotional and logistical burden on their caregivers, making compassionate end-of-life care a reachable reality for all, regardless of their location.

Benefit 2: Cost-effectiveness

Telehospice represents a cost-effective solution for rural healthcare, addressing direct and indirect expenses associated with traditional hospice care. By minimizing the need for physical travel, telehospice significantly reduces transportation costs for healthcare providers and families while lowering care costs associated with in-person visits. It reduces the need for building and maintaining physical healthcare facilities in remote locations, leading to substantial savings in infrastructure investment.

For patients and their families, telehospice lessens out-of-pocket expenses related to travel and lost work time, easing their financial burden. By providing high-quality care remotely, telehospice can reduces costs associated with any potential hospital admissions.

Benefit 3: Quality of care

Telehospice enhances the quality of care for rural patients, offering a level of attention and personalization that rivals traditional in-person hospice services. It allows for continuous, real-time monitoring of patient health statuses, enabling healthcare providers to quickly address any changes in condition.

Telehospice tools foster a deeper understanding of each patient’s needs, leading to more tailored and effective care plans. It facilitates immediate communication and support, ensuring that patients and their families can quickly get answers to their questions and concerns, which is crucial for patient comfort and peace of mind. By maintaining a high standard of care, telehospice meets the expectations of care quality associated with traditional hospice care.

The future of rural hospice and palliative care

Telehospice has emerged as a vital solution in transforming rural hospice care, bridging gaps in accessibility and quality and enhancing social support for caregivers. It represents a significant step towards equity in healthcare, ensuring that rural patients receive compassionate and comprehensive care despite geographical constraints.

This innovative approach enhances patient comfort by allowing them to remain in familiar environments and supports caregivers through easier access to professional guidance and support. Healthcare systems, patients, and their families can benefit from the cost-effectiveness associated with telehospice by alleviating the financial pressures of in-person hospice care while maintaining high standards of care.

As technology continues to evolve, telehospice stands as a testament to the potential of digital health solutions in addressing some of the most pressing challenges in healthcare today. It reaffirms the commitment to ensuring that every individual has the right to dignified and empathetic end-of-life care, no matter where they are.

CitusHealth stands at the forefront of this innovation. With its secure platform, CitusHealth enables comprehensive virtual patient care, helping to improve collaboration, response times, productivity, and engagement for caregivers and those they serve. By integrating with existing EHR systems and offering digital, mobile, and app-less features, CitusHealth is transforming hospice and palliative care into a more accessible, effective, and patient-centered experience so providers can deliver high-quality care more efficiently.

Schedule a demo to learn more about CitusHealth’s suite of solutions and discover how we can help you bring compassionate end-of-life care to those in rural communities.

Danielle Maroon
Danielle Maroon

Danielle Maroon is a dedicated professional services employee at ResMed with a passion for excellent healthcare and efficient work environments. While balancing work, she’s devoted to being present, caring and loving to her two sons and her supportive husband.