Topics: Healthcare quality

For more information and resources, see RHIhub’s Rural Healthcare Quality topic guide.

The Codes of Care: How Words and Numbers Have Transformative Power for Rural Healthcare

graphic depicting aspects of healthcare related to ICD-10 medical codes


The greatest opportunity to tell the rural healthcare delivery story is an opportunity often missed — and that opportunity involves translating clinical documentation into medical codes. In addition to describing how the story and quality of clinical care gets translated from words into alphanumeric numbers, medical coding experts also pointed to aligned efforts to familiarize those in graduate medical education settings with the impact of their clinical documentation.

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April 13, 2022

“It’s the relationships”: Q&A with Peggy Broussard Wheeler

Peggy Broussard Wheeler


Peggy Broussard Wheeler, Vice President of Policy at the California Hospital Association, discusses the challenges that the hospitals in her state and nationwide have faced before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also shares rural hospitals’ unique strengths and the importance of collaboration and relationships.

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January 19, 2022

Understanding the “Tool-ish-ness” of Telehealth: Q&A with Dr. Jonathan Neufeld

Dr. Jonathan Neufeld


Clinical psychologist and program director for the Great Plains Telehealth Resource & Assistance Center, Dr. Jonathan Neufeld, clarifies telehealth as an “enabler” of healthcare delivery. Emphasizing that telehealth is only a set of telecommunication tools, he details how the unique use and flexibility of these tools by skilled providers can bring quality care and impact rural health equity.

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December 8, 2021

Understanding the Rural Swing Bed: More than Just a Reimbursement Policy

patient getting blood pressure checked


“Swing bed” is that oft-heard phrase describing not a physical hospital bed, but post-acute care for the rural patient who is well enough to leave the acute care hospital but not well enough to be safe at home. In this 2-part story, experts and hospital administrators review the swing bed program’s historical implementation and provide stories and examples of the value this over 40-year-old healthcare delivery and reimbursement model brings to patients, to the hospitals providing their care, and ultimately to rural communities.

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August 11, 2021

Healthcare Professionals’ Mental Health Needs: Where Can They Go?

two exhausted surgeons with hands on head


Recent research has found that not only are nearly 40% of surveyed physicians burned out, but 40% are also experiencing depression. For many reasons — stigma among them — these professionals are not getting mental health support. Physician health programs, in collaboration with professional societies, are trying to change that by working with state licensure boards and other groups.

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January 29, 2020

Burnout: Measurement Tool(s), Cause(s) and Impact(s)

keyboard enter key labeled with the word "Burnout"


Over 40% of today’s physicians are burned out. A closer look at research indicates that not only is this a system problem rather than an individual problem, but that burnout impacts a system’s revenue streams, healthcare quality, and patient safety and satisfaction. Experts suggest the problem may even be of more concern in rural areas.

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January 22, 2020

Strategies for Superbugs: Antibiotic Stewardship for Rural Hospitals

Clostridium difficile bacterium


Resistant bacteria, or “superbugs,” are a cause of major medical illness and death. Government and accreditation agencies, as well as infectious disease experts, believe hospital antibiotic stewardship programs are the answer to blunting the impact and development of these germs. Despite limited resources, rural and Critical Access Hospitals are activating their stewardship programs.

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March 22, 2017

LGBTQ Healthcare: Building Inclusive Rural Practices


Like all rural residents, LGBTQ individuals need access to quality healthcare from an engaged provider. But sometimes, providers lack the specific training and cultural know-how to address the healthcare needs of LGBTQ patients. This article discusses the barriers rural LGBTQ people face and what providers can do to ensure quality care.

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May 4, 2016