Patient Engagement Hit: Rural Hospital Travel Times Increase, Hamper Patient Care Access

EXCERPT: “Individuals living in rural areas face nearly double the travel that those living in urban areas experience, according to an analysis from the Pew Research Center. Those long travel distances can cause considerable patient care access issues, the report authors said. On average, patients living in rural areas face a 17-minute trek to the nearest hospital. Those living in urban areas must travel an average of 10 minutes and suburban residents live 12 minutes from the nearest hospital. Pew determined those numbers by looking at the average distance, in miles, patients living in each community type may face. The Center also took into account traffic patterns in each area. On average, those living in urban regions live 4.4 miles away from the nearest hospital. Those in suburban communities live 5.6 miles away and those in rural areas live 10.5 miles from the nearest hospital. This has resulted in significant patient care access barriers, the analysis added.” FULLSTORY: