Virtual Emergency Rooms for Rural America

Virtual Emergency Rooms for Rural America

In rural America, telemedicine is sometimes the only option for emergent patients.

As the shortage of hospitals and physicians continues to intensify in rural areas, telemedicine centers have been replacing traditional emergency departments. Physicians treat patients via cameras and computer screens, calling on nurses to provide highly specialized activities in life-threatening situations.


Video Spotlight: Telemedicine Saves Lives


This post is based on the Washington Post article, The Most Remote Emergency Room: Life and Death in Rural America, by E. Saslow, November 16, 2019, and the YouTube video, Telehealth Kiosk May Have Saved Ron Wuaten’s Life, by New York-Presbyterian Hospital, August 22, 2019. Image source: Shutterstock / Mega Pixel.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the factors that contribute to the disappearance of emergency departments and physicians in rural areas?

Guidance: Review the factors of location decisions. For emergency departments, the factors contributing to their disappearance include limited markets, small proportions of privately insured patients, and low availability of qualified labor. For physicians, the limited entertainment and cultural opportunities as well as poor career advancement and wealth prospects are deterrents.

2. What are the quality trade-offs for patients receiving virtual emergency care?

Guidance: When there is no Continue reading

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Dream Time Limits on a Qantas Boeing Dreamliner

Dream Time Limits on a Qantas Boeing Dreamliner

Qantas is testing record-breaking, 19-hour flights from JFK to Sidney.

Although the direct flights substantially decrease total travel time, they stress passengers’ and crews’ physical limits. In order to convince regulators that the flights are safe, Qantas is assessing the impact of extended duty times on its pilots and taking steps to minimize jet lag. The commercial viability of this technological breakthrough will depend on people’s tolerance for discomfort.


Video Spotlight: Fighting Jet Lag on a 19-Hour Flight


This post is based on the NBCnews.com article, Doing the ‘Macarena’ at 2 a.m. on Qantas’ Record-Breaking 19-Hour Flight, by T. Costello, October 21, 2019, and the YouTube video, What a 19-Hour Nonstop Flight Can Teach Us About Jet Lagby the Wall Street Journal, October 21, 2019. Image source: kasto/123RF/Matej Kastelic.

Discussion Questions:

1. For passengers, what are the advantages and disadvantages of taking the 19-hour flight?

Guidance: The advantages include decreased travel time with no layovers, more comfortable seating, larger windows, and pleasant ambient lighting in the Boeing 777x or Airbus A350-1000 planes that will be used for these flights. The disadvantages include physical discomfort and health risks from dehydration and limited movement, jet lag, safety Continue reading

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