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Rural Health Information Hub

Indiana Statewide Rural Health Network (InSRHN)

Summary 
  • Need: To improve sustainability and financial viability for rural healthcare providers throughout Indiana.
  • Intervention: A network of rural healthcare providers for Critical Access and other hospitals in Indiana that are dedicated to improving their ability to deliver efficient and high-quality healthcare for their rural residents.
  • Results: The network has been leveraged to increase access to resources, coordinate services, and improve and expand healthcare access.

Description

The Indiana Statewide Rural Health Network (InSRHN) is a network that was established in 2007 with the mission of supporting rural healthcare organizations as they coordinate services, improve and expand healthcare access, and enhance healthcare delivery for member hospitals and their communities.

Totaling 29 Critical Access Hospital (CAH) and rural hospital members, InSRHN has maintained financial stability and has grown the corporation by offering a wide variety of technical assistance programs to benefit network members, as well as other services to support their efforts in providing health care solutions to their communities.

InSRHN member hospitals achieve improved operations and services through the networking activities made available to them, including technical resources, information technology, support services, and network business opportunities (group purchasing, email hosting/web design, board education, leadership support, peer review services, remote pharmacy services, and shared services programs).

Roundtables, or peer discussion groups, influence future planning for the network. These statewide meetings, held both on-site and virtually, offer a chance for peers from member hospitals to collaborate and discuss efficiencies of operations, improvement, obstacles, best practices, trends, and any other topics that may arise.

Working through the Indiana Rural Health Association (IRHA), initial funding for InSRHN came from a 2007 FORHP Rural Health Network Development Planning grant and a subsequent 2008-2011 FORHP Rural Health Network Development grant. Today, network sustainability comes primarily through annual membership dues, with a small portion of revenue coming from a revenue stream from shared savings.

Services offered

  • Offer Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNAs) at a substantial discount to members
  • Develop a network of trusted partners among stakeholders with interest in rural health
  • Provide infrastructure for building relationships among rural hospitals
  • Facilitate the sharing of knowledge and resources
  • Assist with reducing the feelings of geographic isolation faced by rural hospital administration and staff
  • Help identify and eliminate unneeded duplicative services and technology within the network
  • Identify and promote rural-appropriate best practices
  • Utilize InSRHN staff to access state resources and other funding sources
  • Host CEO and 12 other C-Suite Peer Group forums
  • Assist with physician and general healthcare workforce recruitment, including toolkits for human resource departments
  • Partner with leading healthcare organizations including the National Collective of Health Networks (NCHN), the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), the Indiana Hospital Association, and others to better serve members

Results

InSRHN achievements include:

  • Network expansion to include 29 rural healthcare facilities
  • A network of support services to assist hospital members, including LifeLine Pilots, IN Parkinson Foundation, Side Effect Public Media, and others
  • Executive Peer Discussion Groups
  • Expansion of the InSRHN Contract Portfolio, providing members substantial savings

General program results include:

  • InSRHN telehealth projects are increasing availability and quality of services to underserved populations, thereby showing an improvement in health outcomes for rural Indiana patients.
  • Videoconferencing, roundtables, and leveraging of group resources have all shown successful results regarding networking, efficiencies, problem-solving, improvement of services, time savings, and cost savings with the ultimate goal of hospital performance improvement.

Challenges

While the post-pandemic financial challenges on rural hospitals have been well-documented, and the number of rural hospital closings continues to grow, InSRHN members continue their efforts to actively engage with their communities. The IRHA/InSRHN likewise continues to secure relationships with organizations who support these efforts and strengthen the services of rural hospitals.

Replication

Sustainable hospital membership in the InSRHN is largely achieved by a strategy of deeply engaging with as many Department Directors in a hospital as possible, not just with the highest senior leaders. Department Directors in rural hospitals are often short staffed and in great need of a variety of resources, ideas, peer sharing, etc. Over half of the InSRHN members have seen changes in their CEO/President since the beginning of the pandemic, yet the InSRHN has retained 100% of it's membership. They attribute this success to the widespread support that is provided across multiple departments in member hospitals. InSRHN has grown to 13 different Peer Group Roundtables. By demonstrating value to many different departments, newly appointed CEOs/Administrators, etc., quickly learn about the value of the IRHA and InSRHN from their executive staff members.

Contact Information

Phillip Ellis, Network Director
Indiana Statewide Rural Health Network
317.902.1749
pellis@indianarha.org

Topics
Critical Access Hospitals
Healthcare business and finance
Healthcare networks
Hospitals

States served
Indiana

Date added
May 30, 2010

Date updated or reviewed
July 10, 2023

Suggested citation: Rural Health Information Hub, 2023. Indiana Statewide Rural Health Network (InSRHN) [online]. Rural Health Information Hub. Available at: https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/project-examples/637 [Accessed 13 April 2024]


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