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Idaho Models and Innovations

These stories feature model programs and successful rural projects that can serve as a source of ideas. Some of the projects or programs may no longer be active. Read about the criteria and evidence-base for programs included.

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

Rural Telemental Health (RTMH) Program
Added July 2016
  • Need: To provide high-quality mental healthcare to rural veterans.
  • Intervention: The Rural Telemental Health (RTMH) program, stationed at the Portland VA Medical Center, reaches rural veterans in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington via telehealth.
  • Results: From 2010 to 2013, 1,754 veterans received diagnoses, therapy, medication management, and other mental health services.

Other Project Examples

Intermountain Healthcare TeleHealth Services
Updated/reviewed October 2017
  • Need: An aging population, shortage of medical providers, and reforms in reimbursement systems were just some of the challenges for rural areas recognized by Intermountain Healthcare.
  • Intervention: In response, they’ve developed an Intermountain TeleHealth Services strategy to provide consultation and emergency medical help electronically for patients and clinicians in both urban and remote areas.
  • Results: Intermountain has installed video and audio conferencing platforms in over 1,200 locations. To date, mortality rates and length of hospital stays have decreased, and patient retention has increased.
Safety Net Medical Home Initiative
Updated/reviewed October 2017
  • Need: To help healthcare providers serving underserved and vulnerable populations become patient-centered medical homes (PCMH).
  • Intervention: A 5-year project was launched to develop a replicable model for practice transformation for safety net providers, including rural practices.
  • Results: Eighty-three percent of participating safety net clinics earned state or national PCMH recognition as of September, 2013.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Medical Home Plus
Updated/reviewed September 2017
  • Need: To help reduce diabetes, depression, and stroke risk in rural residents.
  • Intervention: A collaborative care model was implemented in the Idaho counties of Clearwater, Idaho, and Lewis.
  • Results: Increased number of patients with controlled blood sugar, controlled blood pressure, and higher depression screening rates.
Leadership Development Program
Updated/reviewed June 2017
  • Need: Reasonably-priced leadership education was needed for professional development of healthcare organization managers in southeastern Idaho and western Wyoming.
  • Intervention: Creation of a health network providing leadership training opportunities for member hospitals.
  • Results: Increased leadership and managerial quality, and decreased professional development costs for rural hospitals of southeastern Idaho and western Wyoming.
The Hospital Cooperative Benchmarking Initiative
Updated/reviewed June 2017
  • Need: Healthcare facilities that were part of The Hospital Cooperative (THC) needed a simple, customized benchmarking tool to compare indicators across member hospitals.
  • Intervention: THC developed a benchmarking template that is fast and easy to use.
  • Results: THC collected data semi-annually at each facility, allowing for valuable information and data to be reported to the cooperative quickly.
The Hospital Cooperative Mobile MRI
Updated/reviewed June 2017
  • Need: Critical Access Hospitals in Idaho were not able to afford a fixed MRI system.
  • Intervention: The hospitals partnered to purchase a mobile MRI unit to travel among facilities.
  • Results: The MRI unit went into service in 2012, providing hundreds of scans per month and traveling among six member hospitals in rural Idaho.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy EMS Live@Nite
Updated/reviewed July 2016
  • Need: 80% of rural EMS providers are volunteers. Distance, time, and cost make it difficult for these volunteers to attend continuing education and maintain certification.
  • Intervention: Inland Northwest Health Services delivers free online training to rural EMS providers via video teleconferencing.
  • Results: The EMS Live@Nite program provides free, monthly training to rural EMS providers in the northwestern part of the United States. The Program is available through live video conferencing from certified locations in rural communities.
funded by the Health Resources Services Administration Targeted Rural Underserved Track (TRUST) Program
Updated/reviewed December 2015
  • Need: There is a shortage of rural physicians in the Northwestern United States.
  • Intervention: University of Washington medical students are receiving training through the TRUST program in rural, underserved communities across a five-state radius.
  • Results: Long-lasting connections have been formed among regional and underserved communities, medical students, and rural health professionals, producing more rural physicians as a result.

Last Updated: 10/31/2017