Health service delivery in rural areas can be challenging because of the low population density and the difficulties in attracting and retaining qualified health care providers. There are innovative health services that enhance access and quality of care for rural communities. Within Pillar IV, Rural Health Service Delivery, you can explore the following topics:
Innovative service models – New ways of providing care are needed to address the challenges of remote geographies. Rural service models might include resource-sharing with urban centres, increased use of technology, or new roles for health-care providers. In this section, explore innovative ideas that some rural communities have used to improve service delivery.
Integrated care – Integrated care brings different parts of the health-care system together so care can be better coordinated and adjusted to patients’ needs. In order to achieve integrated care, health-care providers across different professions and organizations have to work closely together to care for patients and their families. This section describes integrated services that lead to more seamless care and better health outcomes.
Virtual health – Virtual health, also called virtual care, is a broad term that describes the use of information and communication technologies to provide health care to patients when the health-care provider and patient are not in the same location. One example is real-time “virtual visits” between patients and health-care providers using videoconferencing and mobile apps. Virtual health is on the rise, particularly in rural communities. In this topic, explore how virtual health is used to meet the needs of rural patients across Alberta.