Student Research

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    Addressing Physician Shortages Throughout Rural America and Exploring Effective Recruiting Strategies Within Rural Hospitals to Increase Physician Supply and Retention
    (2024-05) Daum, Danika; Healthcare Administration
    The recruitment and retention of physicians in rural areas present critical challenges to healthcare delivery, compounded by geographic isolation, resource limitations, and workforce shortages. This capstone project delves into the intricate landscape of rural physician recruitment and retention, aiming to unearth effective strategies and interventions to mitigate these challenges. This essay meticulously examines the current state of rural physician shortages, underscoring their profound impact on healthcare access and quality within rural communities. Health disparities stemming from physician shortages are explored, emphasizing the urgent need for innovative approaches to enhance recruitment and retention efforts. An array of quantifiable practice models and innovations are scrutinized for their potential to bolster physician retention in rural locales. Collaborative care models, telehealth advancements, interdisciplinary teams, alternative payment structures, and mobile health units emerge as promising avenues, offering distinct advantages to support physicians. Federal policies emerge as pivotal mechanisms for bolstering physician retention endeavors in rural areas. Initiatives such as the Rural Health Clinic program, Medicare Telehealth Services Benefit, National Health Service Corps, and Rural Physician Training Grant Program provide essential resources and incentives to fortify recruitment and retention initiatives. In addition to the quantitative research used to address physician shortages and recruitment initiatives, qualitative research was collected to add valuable information about the freedom providers have that is not portrayed before or during the recruitment process that could add valuable knowledge to future recruitment and retention efforts. Notwithstanding progress, persistent challenges hinder physician recruitment and retention in rural regions. Workforce pipeline constraints, financial disparities, professional isolation, and limited career progression opportunities are formidable barriers to surmount. In conclusion, a comprehensive and collaborative approach to rural physician recruitment and retention is paramount. By prioritizing interdisciplinary collaboration, technology-driven care, community engagement, opportunities to practice beyond the scope, and policy advocacy, stakeholders can forge a path toward improved access to quality care and the promotion of rural population health.
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    Evaluating the Impact of Telemedicine on Survival Rates for Patients with CKD in Rural Areas
    (2024-05) Hill, Reagan; Healthcare Administration
    According to Domislović et al., (2022), chronic kidney disease (CKD) is one of the major global health burdens due to the high prevalence and associated risk of end-stage renal disease (ESRD). CKD disproportionately affects rural areas, where access to specialized care is limited. This study evaluates how telemedicine interventions improve survival rates among rural CKD patients. Telemedicine addresses CKD challenges by enabling remote access to nephrologists and regular monitoring. Through telecommunication technologies, patients receive timely diagnoses and interventions, overcoming geographical barriers. Remote monitoring and teleconsultations empower patients to actively engage in their healthcare, leading to better outcomes and preventing disease progression. By bridging gaps in access to specialized care, telemedicine reduces health disparities in rural areas. Previously underserved patients now have comprehensive CKD management through telehealth platforms. This approach not only improves patient outcomes but also reduces healthcare costs associated with hospitalizations and emergency care. Telemedicine transforms CKD management in rural areas by delivering timely interventions, empowering patients, and mitigating geographical barriers to healthcare access. This research contributes to understanding telemedicine's role in addressing healthcare disparities and enhancing outcomes for rural CKD populations.
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    Total Joint Infection Rates
    (2024-05) Worthey, Ashleigh; Healthcare Administration
    Each year, millions of Americans undergo surgical treatments with orthopedic procedures ranking among the most common. Total joint arthroplasties (TJAs) are a significant part of these procedures, as they involve replacing damaged joints with artificial components to alleviate pain and restore joint function. However, total joint arthroplasties carry certain risks, the most notable being surgical site infections (SSIs), which can lead to more extended hospital stays, additional surgeries, increased healthcare costs, and decreased patient well-being. Patient demographics, comorbidities, and surgical techniques influence the incidence of SSIs following TJAs. As total joint arthroplasties are predicted to become increasingly more prevalent, research also forecasts a rise in SSIs, posing significant challenges to healthcare systems and patient outcomes. Understanding the factors contributing to SSIs, implementing evidence-based preventative measures, and developing strategies to enhance patient safety to reduce these risks is critical. Therefore, exploring the correlation between total joint arthroplasties and postoperative infection rates, identifying risk factors, and assessing the effectiveness of preventative measures are crucial steps in reducing SSIs. All efforts aim to improve patient outcomes and optimize surgical practices for the benefit of patients, healthcare professionals, and organizations. Although providers cannot complete prevention surgical site infections from occurring, there are several ways to minimize contribution. Such prevention methods include antibiotic prophylaxis, proper surgical site preparation, surgical technique, wound closure techniques, and preoperative evaluation of patient health. The more healthcare providers understand the risk factors, the better equipped they are to prevent SSIs.
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    Breast Implants and the Associated Risk of Breast Implant Illness and Cancer
    (2024-05) Holmes, Amber; Healthcare Administration
    One of the most popular cosmetic procedures is breast augmentation through the use of breast implants, giving women an opportunity to enhance their physical appearance and well-being. However, this new appearance also brings the associated health risks regarding Breast Implant Illness (BII) and the development of Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). This abstract comprehensively reviews the literature review and information on the associated risk between breast implants, Breast Implant Illness (BII), and Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). In the current market, there are various types of breast implants, including saline and silicone made with a silicone shell with either a smooth or textured surface. We look at current information from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to understand the information given to patients and physicians to help women make the best decisions for them with all the information given. Breast augmentations were up 44% to about 365,000 performed in 2021 and roughly were up to 32% to about 148,000 having them removed. While implantation is still a popular elective surgery, implant removal is also growing at an increasing rate (The Aesthetic Society, 2022).
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    Analysis of the Nursing Shortage Since The Affordable Care Act of 2010
    (2024-05) Threadgill, Dana; Healthcare Administration
    The nursing shortage in the United States spans well beyond the dates of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, since the ACA's inception in 2010, the need for qualified, available nurses continues to make headlines. This demand for nurses remains a hot topic in every administrative board room because it is linked to quality, safety, and efficiency in all healthcare settings. As healthcare became more accessible, the need for healthcare professionals increased. This paper aims to identify the key components that have formed historical barriers to meeting nursing demands and how this affects patient care quality. Results from statistical data show that a high number of nurses continue to inch closer to retirement. At the same time, the luster and appeal of nursing faculty have become a challenge for academic institutions. Further literature review of adverse events demonstrates a potential correlation between the number of available nursing staff and the safety and quality of patient care, reflecting on medication errors, readmission rates, infection, and even death. Identifying the reason for the shortage is only the beginning, finding solutions has been an ongoing challenge.