Leveraging Health Information Technology and Health Information Management in Rural America: A Health Summit Commentary

Executive Director, Research Alliances, HealthCore, Wilmington, Delaware, USA.
The Journal of Rural Health (Impact Factor: 1.45). 12/2012; 28(1):4-7. DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-0361.2011.00383.x
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Healthcare organizations are increasingly faced with an environment in which they must implement health information systems to achieve higher standards for efficiency and quality of care while at the same time being asked to provide needed services with fewer resources. This is particularly challenging for rural health systems where access to resources is often more limited. This study investigates the potential value of iPad tablets for enhancing health services delivery by primary care physicians in rural Nevada.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2013 · International Journal of Medical Informatics
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    ABSTRACT: Despite increasing frequency, little evidence guides cholesterol screening in less traditional health care settings, such as rural health fairs. The Miller School of Medicine Department of Community Service (DOCS) is a student-run organization providing free basic health care to underserved South Florida communities. We retrospectively reviewed all new patients seen at 2007 DOCS rural fairs to describe their low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) values. In addition, we assessed if patient characteristics were associated with cholesterol abnormalities and whether patients with abnormalities who returned to a subsequent fair in 2008 or 2009 improved their cholesterol. Of 252 patients, 145 (58%) had an LDL cholesterol over 129 mg/dL and 61 (24%) had an HDL cholesterol below 40 mg/dL or 50 mg/dL for males and females, respectively. Baseline LDL cholesterol was not associated with body-mass index (BMI), age over 60 years, gender, healthy lifestyle habits, or insurance status. Of 36 patients with elevated LDL cholesterol and a follow-up screening, 24 (67%) reduced their LDL cholesterol by at least 16 mg/dL though reductions were not associated with BMI reduction, and 22 (61%) increased their HDL cholesterol by at least 5 mg/dL, trending with BMI reduction. Cholesterol screening at rural fairs can identify a high proportion of patients with abnormal cholesterol, including those who might not be considered at high risk. Although this may catalyze favorable cholesterol changes, the lack of an association with weight loss suggests patients seek additional medical care, which should be considered before offering cholesterol screening at fairs.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2013 · The Journal of Rural Health
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract The aim of this study was to compare the mental health, substance use, and sexual risk behaviors of rural and non-rural transgender persons. Online banner advertisements were used to recruit 1,229 self-identified rural and non-rural transgender adults (18+ years) residing in the US. Primary findings include: significant differences in mental health between rural and non-rural transmen; relatively low levels of binge drinking across groups, although high levels of marijuana use; and high levels of unprotected sex among transwomen. The results confirm that mental and physical health services for transgender persons residing in rural areas are urgently needed.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Journal of Homosexuality
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