Screening tool for access to healthcare in rural communities Warren, Emily Jane
Residents of rural communities experience unique barriers to accessing healthcare. By assessing patients for these barriers, it can inform providers in ways they can mitigate these challenges and improve healthcare access. A literature review was conducted examining these barriers, and the findings were categorized into five main themes including geography, financial, availability, quality and cultural. The challenges within each of these were used to inform the development of a screening tool in the form of a questionnaire that can be implemented by healthcare providers to assess a patient’s barriers they may be experiencing accessing healthcare in the rural context. Readily available resources and solutions were also discussed and incorporated into the tool to provide ideas for potential strategies to address some of these barriers. The use of this screening tool will ensure a thorough assessment of rural access barriers, enhance provider knowledge of these challenges, and facilitate provider-patient discussion about solutions and resources available to address them.
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