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Rural Project Examples: Pharmacy and prescription drugs

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.
Midcoast Maine Prescription Opioid Reduction Program
Updated/reviewed March 2017
  • Need: Reduction in the number of emergency department dental patients abusing opioid prescriptions in rural southeastern Maine.
  • Intervention: Using a one-page opioid prescription guideline, opioid prescribing and emergency room visits for dental pain decreased.
  • Results: The rate of opioid prescription dropped nearly 20% after implementation, and in comparing the 12-month period before and after implementation, dental pain emergency department visits decreased from 26 to 21 per 1,000.
Project Lazarus
Added December 2015
  • Need: To reduce overdose-related deaths among prescription opioid users in rural Wilkes County, North Carolina
  • Intervention: Education and tools are provided for prescribers, patients and community members to lessen drug supply and demand, and to reduce harm in prescription opioid use
  • Results: Opioid overdose death rates have decreased in Wilkes County

Promising Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy The Health Wagon
Updated/reviewed November 2017
  • Need: Healthcare access for the medically underserved in Central Appalachia.
  • Intervention: A mobile clinic that provides free healthcare in 11 rural Virginia communities.
  • Results: The Health Wagon provides comprehensive healthcare services to over 4,000 patients annually.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Physical and Behavioral Health Integrated Care Project
Updated/reviewed October 2017
  • Need: To provide unified and seamless access to primary physical care to adult patients in Clearfield and Jefferson counties in Pennsylvania who have been diagnosed with Serious and Persistent Mental Illness.
  • Intervention: A “one-stop shop” of healthcare services addressed the physical and behavioral health and medication needs of adults in the region.
  • Results: Results indicated better behavioral and physical health outcomes for participants, as well as increased adherence to medications.
Integrated Chronic Pain Treatment and Training Project
Added August 2017
  • Need: To reduce prescription opioid misuse and overdoses in North Carolina.
  • Intervention: The ICPTTP standardizes and streamlines chronic pain management in primary care clinics.
  • Results: The ICPTTP has reduced patients' average daily morphine equivalent dose, and 25% of program participants have stopped taking opioids altogether.

Other Project Examples

funded by the Health Resources Services Administration Roane County Hypertension Control
Updated/reviewed July 2017
  • Need: Nearly one in three Americans has hypertension, and rural community members lack access to clinics and means for monitoring and treatment of their high blood pressure.
  • Intervention: Roane County Family Health Care (RCFHC) uses community-oriented, outcome- and team-based care to combat their rural community members' high rates of hypertension.
  • Results: In 2014, RCFHC succeeded in achieving hypertension control rates in at least 70% of patients, and was named a 2014 Hypertension Control Champion by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy SLV N.E.E.D.: Naloxone Education Empowerment Distribution Program
Updated/reviewed July 2017
  • Need: Growing concern in rural Colorado communities regarding prescription and illegal opioid overdoses.
  • Intervention: Education efforts for health workers and the larger community, in addition to establishing a naloxone overdose reversal drug program.
  • Results: Nearly all first responders are now trained to administer naloxone, participating pharmacies keep adequate naloxone stock, and ongoing service region dialogue to address opioid abuse.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Upper Peninsula Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee
Updated/reviewed July 2017
  • Need: Healthcare entities in the Upper Peninsula region of Michigan were using different formularies, missing opportunities for group purchasing power and consistent care.
  • Intervention: The Upper Peninsula Health Plan and the Upper Peninsula Health Care Network developed a regional partnership for managing prescription costs and quality pharmaceuticals in rural, upper Michigan.
  • Results: More informed pharmaceutical decisions and lowered pharmaceutical costs for Upper Peninsula Health Plan member organizations.
Mobile Medication Program for Patients with Mental Illness
Updated/reviewed November 2016
  • Need: To assist individuals with mental illness in managing medication independently and to reduce hospitalization costs of treating individuals with serious mental illness.
  • Intervention: Mobile medical staff provide education, support, and skill-building to assist individuals with medication management.
  • Results: A reduction in area hospitalization costs and a reduction in the need for long-term hospitalization among program participants.