Masters Thesis

A Content analysis study to determine: Telemedicine: the future of health care delivery systems?

Healthcare in rural locations in America continues to draw disparities due to a myriad of issues including access issues, lack of physicians, and lack of facilities in rural locations. It is a pivotal time in the healthcare industry to ensure that these health disparities do not continue. According to U.S. census data, approximately 21% of the U.S. population lives in rural or medically undeserved locations. Physician shortage, poor access to care, and rural–urban disparities in availability of subspecialty care are important issues that require the attention of health care providers and health policy makers (Raza, Joshi, Schapira, & Agha, 2009). As advances in technology have come to light, what are the impacts of Telemedicine in rural communities in America? This research paper will attempt to answer this hypothesis. The methods used for this research paper are non-experimental research design based on qualitative information using a content analysis method. The limitations to this research project include time available to complete the study. The results based on this research include confirmation that Telemedicine provides more timely access for populations living in both rural and urban locations in America. Other results include better health outcomes and comfort for families and caregivers who can travel less due to Telemedicine access. The three recommendations include healthcare providers creating mandatory Telemedicine access; additional training and education to those who help deliver Telemedicine and create grants or subsidies for healthcare providers to offset startup costs.

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