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Rural Project Examples: Technology for health and human services

Evidence-Based Examples

Women to Women Online Support Network
Updated/reviewed August 2017
  • Need: Women living in rural areas with chronic illness often face little social support, leading to increased rates of depression and stress
  • Intervention: Women to Women offered rural women with chronic conditions social support networks via telecommunication
  • Results: WTW intervention participants experienced positive increases in self-esteem, social support, and empowerment over the control group

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.

Other Project Examples

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.
Beacon Health Accountable Care Organization
Updated/reviewed November 2017
  • Need: To implement coordinated healthcare to improve patient health, increase patient engagement, and reduce the overall cost of medical services in Maine.
  • Intervention: The Beacon Health Network was launched to focus on patient-centered care to improve overall wellness and reduce ever-increasing healthcare costs.
  • Results: Through care coordination, Beacon Health has improved provider efficiency, increased healthcare quality, and lowered costs for patients.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy The Community Care Alliance
Updated/reviewed November 2017
  • Need: Rural healthcare networks in Colorado and Washington felt the urgency to help their communities improve population health with better care at lower cost.
  • Intervention: The Community Care Alliance was formed to specifically serve Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), employer groups, and other patient populations. Benefits for participants include quality improvement and practice transformation activities, comprehensive care coordination, outcomes measurement with quality reporting and data extraction, and analytics.
  • Results: A total of 43 organizational members have received educational, networking, and technical assistance by being a part of the Alliance. Over 22,000 Medicare beneficiaries have been introduced to care coordination, leading to a decrease in emergency room visits, an increase in overall health, and lower medical costs.
Contingency Management Smoking Cessation in Appalachia
Updated/reviewed July 2017
  • Need: To reduce smoking rates of pregnant women and adolescents in Appalachian regions of Eastern Kentucky and Ohio.
  • Intervention: A web-based smoking cessation program that offered monetary incentives to reducing smoking.
  • Results: Participants significantly reduced smoking rates or quit altogether.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy E-RHIT Network
Updated/reviewed June 2017
  • Need: To provide rural Louisiana ambulance services with the necessary resources to establish electronic patient care reports and participation in both the state trauma registry and the state health information exchange.
  • Intervention: A network was established providing equipment, software, training, data collection, data analysis, and support.
  • Results: EMS Electronic Patient Care Reporting (ePCR) has been implemented, allowing members to participate in the Louisiana Health Information Exchange (LaHIE), and to provide data to the statewide trauma registry.
North Carolina Innovative Approaches Initiative
Updated/reviewed June 2017
  • Need: Children and youth with special healthcare needs (CYSHCN) face many barriers to coordinated, comprehensive, and culturally competent healthcare.
  • Intervention: The North Carolina Innovative Approaches (IA) initiative works with families of CYSHCN and other community leaders to make systems changes in the state's healthcare system.
  • Results: In seven years, IA has impacted 19 counties and has had a positive impact on increasing family engagement and community capacity for systems changes.
North Region Health Alliance
Updated/reviewed March 2017
  • Need: A telecommunication network for healthcare providers in northeastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota to provide better healthcare to the region's rural residents.
  • Intervention: The North Region Health Alliance was developed as a collaborative partnership and telecommunication infrastructure that electronically links 21 healthcare providers together.
  • Results: The North Region Health Alliance provides quality telecommunication services to rural healthcare facilities as they work to provide quality healthcare.
Louisiana Rural Health Information Exchange (LARHIX)
Updated/reviewed January 2017
  • Need: To fill the gaps in patient record sharing among rural Louisiana hospitals.
  • Intervention: Electronic patient records are made accessible by providing participating members with equipment and software.
  • Results: 29 hospitals have been equipped with the telemedicine equipment and a web site has been created for initial document and information sharing.