What Challenges Rural Hospitals Face?

What Challenges Rural Hospitals Face?

Many hospitals face communication challenges, but the circumstances at many communities as well as rural hospitals exacerbate the situation.

Fremont, CA: Rural hospitals faced major problems even before the coronavirus pandemic plunged the entire healthcare sector — indeed, the entire world — into an unprecedented situation.

In certain ways, these hospitals hold a special place in their neighborhoods. They are frequently the largest employer and primary healthcare provider in the community. Furthermore, rural areas account for 20 percent of the population in the United States, creating smaller hospitals as an important part of the industry.

These organizations face economic challenges that may limit their investments in emerging technology solutions and services even further. Due to a lack of resources, smaller hospitals can face additional IT challenges, forcing them to find out how to do more with less.

Security Threats Have Significant Impact on Rural Hospitals

Earlier in the pandemic, a rural hospital was hit by a ransomware attack. From patient registration to the inpatient pharmacy, the effects were felt throughout the organization. A larger hospital may have had defenses in place to prevent such a wide-spread impact, but this situation necessitated an updated security solution to mitigate the problem.

Efforts to improve security are important at every hospital, but getting assistance from a third party is often necessary for rural communities where access to necessary IT resources is limited. Many smaller providers use Security Operations as a Service, in which a third-party partner performs a variety of security functions such as threat detection and response, endpoint security, vulnerability scanning, infrastructure and application monitoring, management of a security information and event management system.

Boosting Communication with Clinical Mobility

Many hospitals face communication challenges, but the circumstances at many communities as well as rural hospitals exacerbate the situation. Small hospitals may not have uniform communication systems in place in some cases, so they will use whatever solutions are available, including personal devices. This creates a fragmented communication environment that can fail at critical times, potentially jeopardizing patient care and posing a security risk.

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