It goes without saying that the major focus of hospitals in any rural community is on improving health-related outcomes, but at the same time, the economic contributions that rural hospitals make to their rural communities can’t be overlooked.
While rural hospitals are crucial to providing quality health care to residents in rural communities, they are also crucial to the local economy, because according to the American Hospital Association, every dollar spent by a hospital supports $2.30 of additional business activity in the community.
In this blog, we’ll explore some ways by which hospitals fuel their respective communities’ economies.
#1 Rural Hospitals Are One of The Largest Employers of Rural Communities
As one of the largest employers in their rural communities, rural hospitals (and critically accessed hospitals) contribute approximately 14% of total employment in rural areas of the United States, making the link between hospitals and the local economy even more pronounced. You can also appreciate the role of rural hospitals in the economic growth of the community with the fact that nearly 60% of medical graduates are becoming primary care physicians and over 50% of them are practicing in rural and other under-served areas.
It is important to mention that, besides obvious clinical and ancillary jobs, rural hospital also support many other jobs, like facility maintenance, transportation, construction, and more. This is great for the local community members who need all sorts of jobs.
#2 Rural Hospitals Attract Business and Industry
It goes without saying that rural hospitals provide an economic boost in their community by attracting physicians, pharmacies, and other healthcare and medical supply providers. However, this economic boost doesn’t stop there. In a rural community where hospitals also offer medical emergency services along with specialty services, the demand for schools, housing, transportation, and other essential services automatically and significantly go up. You can understand it from a simple example that when a company – whether it is a factory or a distribution center – hunts for a community to expand their business, looking into the school system and health care system of that community is always at the top of the list. This is because companies find it easier to attract and retain workers in a community where a thriving hospital system and healthy employment levels exist.
#3 Rural Hospitals Attract and Retain People
Families and individuals, especially retirees and seniors, prefer to stay in communities where they don’t have to travel long distances to receive medical care, especially in cases of emergency, such as a serious injury, heart attack, or stroke. Rural hospitals offer all the services a resident of the community might need, including emergency care, laboratory tests, diagnostic imaging, primary care, rehabilitation, surgery, wound care, inpatient care, pediatric care, prenatal care, mental health support, and specialty services, to name a few. When all these services are available in a rural community, residents don’t have to move out of it, allowing them to invest, raise families, and establish roots in the community.
Rural Hospital in Mount Ayr, Iowa
At Ringgold County Hospital (RCH) in Mount Ayr, Iowa, we strive to provide the highest quality comprehensive care to the people of our community and the surrounding areas, so that they don’t need to travel long distances to get quality medical care at a big-city hospital. We also take pride in fueling the economy of our community with quality services that help attract and retain residents and businesses.
For more information about Ringgold County Hospital, or to schedule a visit, call (641) 464-3226. We look forward to serving your family’s health care needs for many years to come.