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Rural Project Examples: Networking and collaboration

Effective Examples

Pharmacists for Patient Safety Network
Updated/reviewed August 2017
  • Need: Pharmacists in rural Nebraska are often isolated and find it difficult to communicate with others about safety concerns.
  • Intervention: The Pharmacists for Patient Safety Network is a communication network in which pharmacists can identify safety concerns and share solutions.
  • Results: After one year of implementation, 30 of the 38 participating pharmacies reported that the network encouraged new safety practices and reinforced existing safety strategies.
Medical-Legal Partnership of Southern Illinois
Added October 2016
  • Need: Legal barriers often prevent economically disadvantaged people in Southern Illinois from obtaining positive health outcomes despite receiving medical care.
  • Intervention: The Medical-Legal Partnership of Southern Illinois (MLPSI) was formed to create a system where medical providers can refer patients in need of legal assistance to local attorneys.
  • Results: Over 2,500 patients have utilized MLPSI since its founding in 2002. The program has relieved over $8.1 million in medical debt for both hospitals and patients.

Other Project Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Health Care Coalition of Lafayette County’s Heath Information Technology Workgroup
Updated/reviewed January 2018
  • Need: To ensure the quality and sustainability of rural West Central Missouri's health services through the use of technology.
  • Intervention: The Health Care Coalition of Lafayette County convened a Health Information Technology (HIT) workgroup to establish electronic medical and prescription records, telemedicine capabilities, and training for Lafayette County and surrounding areas.
  • Results: The workgroup fully equipped a local emergency department with HIT, launched electronic prescriptions for nearly a dozen Lafayette County providers, and identified acute needs hindering the adoption of electronic health records.
Health Care Collaborative of Rural Missouri's Network Projects
Added January 2018
  • Need: To expand public health and human services to adults living in rural West Central Missouri.
  • Intervention: The Health Care Collaborative of Rural Missouri's Network organizes Project Connect events, a 1-day public health event that offers free public health and human services to underserved adults.
  • Results: In 2017 alone, Project Connect events provided a total of 6,880 incidents of services to guests, a $232,000 value.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Chautauqua Health Connects (CHC)
Updated/reviewed December 2017
  • Need: To address care coordination and the integration of services in a rural, aging population
  • Intervention: This program used health information technology and dedicated staff to manage clinical and community services for patients with complex needs.
  • Results: Hospital readmissions have decreased, follow-up rates have increased, and patients' perceived health status has improved.
Eastern Plains Sexual Assault Response Team (EPSART)
Added December 2017
  • Need: To support victims after sexual assault and to collaborate and streamline processes for victim-centered care.
  • Intervention: The EPSART holds monthly team meetings and opportunities for team training.
  • Results: Enhanced victim and public safety by facilitating investigations and successful prosecutions.
Finger Lakes Community Health Telehealth Network
Updated/reviewed December 2017
  • Need: To provide organizations with telehealth infrastructure in order to improve the healthcare access for rural residents.
  • Intervention: New York’s Finger Lakes Telehealth Network (FLTN) provides an open access network to facilitate partnering organizations collaboration.
  • Results: FLTN provides connectivity using telehealth technology services to more than 20 partnering organizations, including FQHCs, specialists, hospitals, and other provider groups, allowing for a collaborative sharing of services, as well as cost savings to providers.
Genesee and Orleans County Cross Jurisdictional Sharing Project (GO Health)
Added December 2017
  • Need: Two rural upstate New York counties struggled to provide necessary public health leadership and services amid a fluid environment with rising costs and funding limitations.
  • Intervention: The Genesee County and Orleans County health departments began a cross jurisdictional sharing relationship that integrated select functions and services, beginning with sharing a director and deputy director.
  • Results: By sharing personnel and functions, management personnel costs have been cut in half and both counties have saved over $1 million for the counties combined.
Prairie Lakes Healthcare System
Updated/reviewed December 2017
  • Need: Localized specialty and surgery services for residents in rural northeastern South Dakota and western Minnesota
  • Intervention: Prairie Lakes Healthcare System expanded their services by recruiting specialty physicians and networking with regional community hospitals to increase patient referrals
  • Results: Patients receive surgery and specialized care closer to home through Prairie Lakes' 26 specialty medical providers and more than 20 specialty services
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Woodlake Family Resource Center ACA Outreach and Education Project
Updated/reviewed November 2017
  • Need: Educational assistance in understanding the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance options for Spanish-speaking uninsured residents in a rural California.
  • Intervention: A family resource center offered bilingual ACA outreach and education with referral to local health centers for enrollment assistance.
  • Results: 1,740 educational items and 480 newspapers with ACA information were distributed. Seven outreach events reached 880+ individuals, and 467 were referred for enrollment help.