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Rural Project Examples: Healthcare quality

Evidence-Based Examples

Project ECHO® – Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes
Updated/reviewed July 2017
  • Need: To increase the capacity for more effective treatment of chronic, complex conditions in rural and underserved communities.
  • Intervention: Through a specially-designed project, remote primary care providers work with academic specialists as a team to manage chronic conditions of rural patients, expanding remote providers' knowledge base through shared case studies.
  • Results: Patient management and care provided by rural providers through ongoing education and mentoring from Project ECHO® has proved as effective as treatment provided by specialists at a university medical center.

Effective Examples

Pharmacists for Patient Safety Network
Updated/reviewed September 2020
  • 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 was a communication network in which pharmacists identified safety concerns and shared 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.

Promising Examples

Patient Centered Medical Home Practicum in Primary Care
Updated/reviewed May 2019
  • Need: Improvement in service quality and patient experience in primary care practices in North Carolina's Blue Ridge region and across the state.
  • Intervention: A practicum for healthcare management students was developed to help rural practices achieve Patient Care Medical Home (PCMH) status, identify quality improvement needs, and develop strategies.
  • Results: With the help of practicum students, rural primary practices have have tackled a number of important quality improvement projects, achieved PCMH status and Blue Quality Physician Program Recognition.

Other Project Examples

funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Utah Rural Independent Hospital Network
Updated/reviewed April 2019
  • Need: To help ensure the viability of and improve quality at 9 rural, independent hospitals serving 11 Utah counties.
  • Intervention: A network organization was created to allow member hospitals to communicate, network, and undertake projects together.
  • Results: Members take advantage of cost savings, education, and networking opportunities through group projects and programs.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Plymouth Area Transitions Team (PATT)
Updated/reviewed December 2017
  • Need: Prepare medically complex patients for care needs after hospital discharge.
  • Intervention: A program focused on hospital discharges and care transitions for patients located in three New Hampshire counties
  • Results: Decreased high-risk patient readmissions and establishment of continuous care coordination focus.