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.
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
Updated/reviewed July 2018
- 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.
Added March 2019
- Need: Expand healthcare access for the more remote residents of 3 frontier counties in north central Idaho.
- Intervention: Consortium of healthcare providers and community agencies used a hybrid Community Health Worker model to augment traditional healthcare delivery services in order to offer a diverse set of healthcare offerings to frontier area residents.
- Results: Increased healthcare access, especially for cancer and chronic disease screening, along with providing education on a diverse array of health topics.
Other Project Examples
Updated/reviewed January 2019
- 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.
Updated/reviewed December 2018
- 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.
Updated/reviewed October 2018
- 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.
Added August 2018
- Need: To help hospitals in rural Idaho and Wyoming see how their prices compare to others in the region.
- Intervention: The Hospital Cooperative (THC) completes an annual charge comparative, which lists the highest, lowest, average, and median price for a specific charge.
- Results: THC has offered these reports since 2010.
Updated/reviewed July 2018
- Need: Distance, time, and cost make it difficult for EMS 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.
Updated/reviewed June 2018
- 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.
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.
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.
Last Updated: 3/28/2019