The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a series of new and unique challenges for rural healthcare organizations. The pandemic initially hit urban communities hardest, giving rural providers additional time to develop preparedness plans. The process confronted hospital leaders with a list of hurdles in trying to provide the best care for patients as the pandemic hit.
Some of those challenges included:
- Ensuring the facility had enough space to maintain safety protocols for staff and patients
- Creating sufficient space for the storage of needed supplies and equipment
- Maintaining safe separation of public and patient traffic
Recognizing the valuable role rural hospitals played during the pandemic has sparked a new appreciation for community health organizations and increased support for planning rural health facility investments. Historically, capital investment that would allow rural hospitals to modernize their facilities has been unavailable, but the recent expansion of federal loan programs such as USDA has opened new doors with over 200 rural hospitals having fully replaced their aged infrastructure with brand new, modern facilities and equipment, while many more have made key investments to renovate and expand their original facility to expand services and increase their capacity to meet the community’s needs.
Planning for impactful investment is difficult in the best of times, but given the current environment, the list of new hurdles can be daunting. Our new white paper From COVID to Community Health: The Opportunity for Rural Heath Infrastructure Investments focuses on the facility challenges faced by rural healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic and explores how planning and new funding opportunities can make needed facility improvements a reality.
View our white paper and please contact us with any questions you may have.