How Telehealth is Changing Rural Healthcare in South Dakota

Document Type


Publication Date



Health Services Administration


The purpose of this study is to present a purposeful plan to implement telemedicine, also referred to as telehealth, in rural communities in South Dakota. Telemedicine is the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by means of telecommunications technology. This plan will also identify some of the problems prevalent in South Dakota healthcare such as access, cost, quality and lack of qualified providers. In addition, this proposed plan will include the consequences and benefits that could arise from the implementation of telehealth services. The information presented is going to be gathered using demographics and statistics from the rural areas in South Dakota to allow for various samples from the rural population across South Dakota. Another topic being discussed in this research is how empathy training could be used within the telemedicine approach. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Empathy training is training provided for employees in a healthcare setting to increase their ability to empathize with the patients they serve. By providing training in this area, employees in the healthcare field increase their ability to empathize with the patients they serve and are able to provide quality healthcare. Overall this study will look at the implementation of telemedicine within rural communities of South Dakota, and how this implementation can increase access and quality in healthcare.

First Advisor

Carole South-Winter

Research Area

Health Services Administration

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