In a story for Becker’s Hospital Review, rural health care facilities beefed up their IT with the help of federal COVID-19 funds, as the money coming in allowed hospitals to use their freed up funds to invest more in digital technology.

According to Becker’s, the funds were effective in allowing rural facilities time to streamline medical processes while covering expenses with the COVID money.

From the story, written by Marissa Plescia: “At Elma, Wash.-based Summit Pacific Medical Center — a client of Ms. Arduino — a $450,004 investment was made in IT, according to data shared with Becker’s.

Summit Pacific CEO Josh Martin said the investment was important for offering telemedicine as the hospital was struggling with patient volume using the traditional method of seeing patients while many sheltered at home.

“How do we pay to innovate and create new delivery models when we’re struggling financially because we don’t have patients?” Mr. Martin said. “We had to break from that and find new funding streams.”

He said telemedicine accounted for about 20 to 30 percent of patient visits in the early months because of the hospital’s ability to launch these services.

“The idea is you think of it like the Blockbuster model where patients have to come to the hospital to receive care, versus the Netflix model where we go to the patient, we find them where they are, where they live, where they work, where they go to school,” Mr. Martin said. “COVID has really amplified our efforts in our organization toward truly population health.”

To read the rest of the story, click here.