In recent years, healthcare providers have recognized the importance of affordable broadband funding to deliver quality healthcare services to their patients. Access to affordable broadband has become increasingly essential as healthcare providers face new challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this article, we will explore the benefits of affordable broadband funding in healthcare and how healthcare providers can leverage this funding to improve their services.
With more than 750 Wi-Fi-enabled tablets funded by the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program, the partners aim to increase affordable broadband access and provide psychosocial oncology care to the underserved.
Gilda’s Club Twin Cities, part of the national non-profit Cancer Support Community network, and Equiva Health, a digital patient engagement company, are partnering to provide stand-alone devices configured for at-home use as part of an oncology-specific initiative to address health disparities through discounted broadband funded by a $14.2 billion Federal Communications Commission’s internet access program.
Once enrolled, Equiva Health ensures that the patients or their families are receiving the discounted broadband service and the tablets.
Todd said many of the providers have been enthusiastic and have asked for patient-facing messaging. Gilda’s Club is also scheduling one-on-one meetings with the providers on patient outreach for the program.
“Interestingly, many inform us that they’ve not previously heard of the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity program despite it being launched more than a year ago,” she said.
For Gilda’s Club, they’ll be evaluating if the tablets and the program are an effective way to increase access to psychosocial oncology care in underserved communities and learning about which oncology-specific content and virtual services are accessed most by end users.
Benefits of Affordable Broadband Funding in Healthcare
- Improved Access to Healthcare Services
Affordable broadband funding has made it possible for healthcare providers to offer telemedicine services to their patients. Telemedicine services allow patients to receive medical care remotely, which is especially important for patients who live in rural areas or those who cannot travel to a healthcare facility due to illness or disability. Telemedicine services can save patients time and money and can also help reduce the spread of infectious diseases.
- Increased Efficiency in Healthcare Delivery
Affordable broadband funding has also made it possible for healthcare providers to improve their efficiency in delivering healthcare services. Electronic health records (EHRs) have become a standard in healthcare, allowing healthcare providers to access and share patient information quickly and easily. EHRs also reduce the likelihood of errors and help providers make more informed decisions about patient care.
- Cost Savings
Affordable broadband funding can also help healthcare providers save costs. Telemedicine services, for example, can reduce the need for patients to travel to a healthcare facility, which can save them time and money. EHRs can also help reduce the likelihood of errors, which can be costly for healthcare providers.
How Healthcare Providers Can Leverage Affordable Broadband Funding
- Apply for Grants and Funding Programs
There are many grants and funding programs available to healthcare providers to help them improve their broadband infrastructure. The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Rural Health Care Program, for example, provides funding to healthcare providers in rural areas to help them improve their broadband infrastructure.
- Partner with Telecommunications Companies
Healthcare providers can also partner with telecommunications companies to improve their broadband infrastructure. Telecommunications companies can provide healthcare providers with high-speed internet connectivity, which is essential for telemedicine services and EHRs.
- Implement Telemedicine Services and EHRs
Healthcare providers can also leverage affordable broadband funding by implementing telemedicine services and EHRs. Telemedicine services allow providers to offer medical care remotely, while EHRs improve efficiency and reduce errors.
In conclusion, affordable broadband funding has become increasingly important in healthcare as healthcare providers face new challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Affordable broadband funding can help healthcare providers improve their access to healthcare services, increase their efficiency in healthcare delivery, and save costs. Healthcare providers can leverage affordable broadband funding by applying for grants and funding programs, partnering with telecommunications companies, and implementing telemedicine services and EHRs. With the right strategies in place, healthcare providers can improve their services and deliver quality care to their patients.