Solving Texas’ rural health care crisis will require telemedicine services

In rural America, the health care crisis is growing.

Confirmed by a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, the gap in potentially preventable deaths from cancer, heart disease and chronic lower respiratory disease between urban and rural residents increased significantly from 2010 to 2017.

Potentially preventable deaths, defined as premature deaths that could have been avoided, among rural Americans are a result of not getting the same quality health care as their urban counterparts.

According to the 2018 Rural Health Quarterly published by Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Texas ranks last for access to care in rural counties. This grim news is likely no surprise to the roughly 3 million people living in rural Texas, whose long drives to see their doctors reflect one of the leading causes of this inequality.

The Texas Department of Health and Human Services predicts a statewide shortage of 3,375 primary care physicians in Texas by 2030, an increase of 67%.

Meanwhile, only 159 hospitals are left to serve the 3 million rural Texans. Of the remaining hospitals, some are dropping obstetrical services as a cost-saving measure.

What can we do to help stop this growing crisis? It will take telemedicine and advancements in delivering these services.  

Telemedicine, which allows providers to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients through technology, can significantly reduce distance barriers separating patients and providers. However, there are limitations on most telemedicine services, such as, the inability to provide laboratory and radiology orders. 

Tembi™ Health has been at the forefront of connecting rural Texans with highly qualified providers for  ailments such as UTI's, bronchitis, flu, and medication refill.  Not only do these providers prescribe medications, they are able to write for laboratory and radiology orders.  Tembi™ Health's ability to provide these services have increase the quality of care given in rural Texas.  

Talk to a Doctor Online

It wasn’t always the case in the past, but today you can talk to a doctor online and skip the lines entirely. Services like Tembi™ Health offer consultations over the phone or video chat with board-certified medical professionals. These providers will go over your symptoms, advise treatment options, and also write prescriptions that are delivered to your preferred pharmacy.

It takes less than ten minutes to sign up with Tembi™ and just another ten minutes to receive your online doctor consultation. If you wake up feeling under the weather, this is a great option. It eliminates the need to drive or be driven to a doctor’s office and puts you in the front of the line every time.

You can speak to your online doctor in bed so you can continue to rest while you figure out what may be wrong with you.

Of course, in the case of an emergency, you must call 911 and make your way to the ER. However, for minor concerns, a virtual doctor consultation may be all you need. Best of all, you can sign up today in no time at all. To consult a doctor via Tembi™ today, follow this link to get started!

By Dr. Michael Williams 12:00 AM on Dec 31, 2019.  https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2019/12/31/solving-texas-rural-healthcare-crisis-will-require-more-collaboration/

Topics: online doctor, health care, virtual doctor consultation, online doctor consultation, talk to a doctor online, Tembi™, Texas

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