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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 2018
  • 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 2019
  • 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.

Promising Examples

Contingency Management Smoking Cessation in Appalachia
Updated/reviewed April 2019
  • 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.

Other Project Examples

Beacon Health Accountable Care Organization
Updated/reviewed October 2019
  • 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 enhanced provider efficiency, improved healthcare quality, and lowered costs for patients.
North Carolina Innovative Approaches Initiative
Updated/reviewed June 2019
  • 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 ten years, IA has impacted 22 counties and has had a positive impact on increasing family engagement and community capacity for systems changes.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy "It's a HIT!" Rural Health IT Workforce Training Program
Updated/reviewed January 2019
  • Need: To provide rural health workers with advanced health information technology (HIT) training and skills.
  • Intervention: A program for health network members to increase HIT knowledge and prepare for Certified Healthcare Technology Specialist (CHTS) certification.
  • Results: Participants learned how to adopt HIT within their own clinics, and 80% of students received certification as an HIT Clinic Workflow Redesign Specialist.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy HCC of Lafayette County's Heath Information Technology Workgroup
Updated/reviewed January 2019
  • 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.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Chautauqua Health Connects (CHC)
Updated/reviewed December 2018
  • 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.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy The Community Care Alliance
Updated/reviewed December 2018
  • 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 serve rural patient populations by assisting their healthcare organizations in transforming their practices to succeed at value-based reimbursement.
  • Results: Member healthcare communities have seen an increased collaboration among independent providers, clinics, and local hospitals on community health initiatives, patient transfers, and appropriate access and education.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy CommunityHealth IT Network
Updated/reviewed July 2018
  • Need: Rural communities in Florida often lack enough financial and technical support to fully implement health information technology (HIT) within their healthcare practices.
  • Intervention: The Rural Health Partnership of North Central Florida founded a Florida nonprofit organization that helps rural providers across that nation understand the benefits, risks, and opportunities of HIT while providing the means to invest in HIT programs.
  • Results: CommunityHealth IT has a presence in 66 Florida locations and 140 medical and behavioral health providers are exchanging patient data. This network has provided 306,656 Florida patients with data since their founding in 2011.