How Rural ME Hospitals Are Tackling Financial Challenges

Rene Letourneau, for HealthLeaders Media , February 10, 2014

"We operate on a tight budget, and we've been doing that for a long time, so it is difficult sometimes to keep up on maintaining and improving the buildings," Goodrich says, noting that her organization will celebrate its centennial anniversary in 2017.

"The original building is still here, and I'm sitting in it right now," she said.

The hospital has been part of the Eastern Maine Healthcare System since 1998.

Telemedicine Offers a Solution
Both C.A. Dean and SVH have found telemedicine to be an important tool to connect them with larger facilities so they can improve patient care without adding a lot of expense.

"We use telemedicine, and we find that it is very helpful," Goodrich says. "We use it frequently in the ER. We contact Eastern Maine Medical Center, and they can assist us while we are going through a trauma. It's like having another doctor right there in the room with us. We can have providers giving advice to providers on how to best take care of patients."

See Also: Telemedicine Emerging as Rural ICU Solution

"Also, if we decide we need to transfer the patient to Eastern Maine Medical Center, it helps EMMC because they have already seen the patient. When they see the patient again, it's easier for them to tell if the patient's condition has changed," she adds.

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