Recent news coming out of Oklahoma isn’t looking good in terms of relief for the shortage of doctors, especially in rural Oklahoma. At the moment, 75 of Oklahoma’s 77 counties are listed as severely short of doctors. News9.com reported as recently as September of this year that especially hard hit will be outlying rural areas.
While there are a number of wonderful Nurse Practitioners, counties like Beaver only have one doctor in practice for the entire county! Imagine how hard it is to request and access diagnostics when sending patients out for such things as blood work and imaging. Here is where technology can be a huge advantage for doctors like the one in Beaver County.
Technicians and Technologists on Staff
What many doctors in other areas of the country are doing is to purchase an assortment of technology and hire technicians trained to operate it. X-ray technicians can do everything from ultrasound to traditional x-rays, saving the doctor and patients’ invaluable time in diagnosing what ails them. According to the news report, one lady waited more than five days to be seen when she contracted an illness because of the severe shortage.
Now consider what would have been the outcome if the doctor had needed imaging results, and needed them fast. If you are considering a career in the medical field, now is a great time to look for x ray tech schools in Oklahoma. You have great job prospects for the future and a higher than the national average rate of pay.
Wearables for Monitoring Patients
Another way in which technology is helping to address the shortage of doctors and nurses is through the use of wearables. These devices measure specific things within the body, report findings back to the doctor via cellphone communications and raise an alarm if any of the findings are critical. This often saves time on unnecessary office visits and great lengths of time spent on the phone in a question and answer marathon. There is not much to ask. The wearable checks vitals, reports back to the doctor and there is only a need to communicate if some problem needs to be addressed.
Digital Communications with Patients Through HER Platforms
In recent years, Congress has mandated that every doctor records patient records digitally, making them accessible to patients online. As part of what is entitled the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, medical professionals were mandated to keep all records digitally and show that they were initiating best practices. For some diagnoses and lab results, patients can now access their records via a patient portal, leaving doctors free only to call in those patients who need immediate treatment.
Technology has come a long way, and even though these types of technology are just in their infancy, it is forecast that this same technology will be the ultimate solution to a critical shortage of doctors in rural Oklahoma and elsewhere around the world. No one can replace a doctor, but technology can sure make their job easier!