Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) Models and Innovations
These stories feature model programs and successful rural projects that can serve as a source of ideas and provide lessons others have learned. Some of the projects or programs may no longer be active. Read about the criteria and evidence-base for programs included.
Added November 2017
- Need: Providing more in-state surgical care options for Montana patients.
- Intervention: A system to keep surgical procedures in Critical Access Hospitals or provide seamless engagement of Montana's available advanced surgical expertise when needed.
- Results: Increased surgical care options, with a side benefit of recruiting young surgeons to rural/frontier Montana.
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.
Updated/reviewed August 2017
- Need: Critical access hospitals (CAHs) in rural Illinois required an external mechanism for peer review.
- Intervention: Using physicians from network member hospitals, a CAH network implemented a peer review process.
- Results: Staff peer reviews also improved healthcare quality within the CAH network.
Updated/reviewed July 2017
- Need: To improve sustainability and financial viability for rural healthcare providers throughout Indiana.
- Intervention: A network of rural healthcare providers for Critical Access and other hospitals in Indiana who are dedicated to improving their ability to deliver efficient and high-quality healthcare for their rural residents.
- Results: The network has been leveraged to increase access to resources, coordinate services, and improve and expand healthcare access.
Updated/reviewed July 2017
- Need: Healthcare entities in the Upper Peninsula region of Michigan were using different formularies, missing opportunities for group purchasing power and consistent care.
- Intervention: The Upper Peninsula Health Plan and the Upper Peninsula Health Care Network developed a regional partnership for managing prescription costs and quality pharmaceuticals in rural, upper Michigan.
- Results: More informed pharmaceutical decisions and lowered pharmaceutical costs for Upper Peninsula Health Plan member organizations.
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.
Updated/reviewed July 2016
- Need: To prepare quality improvement leaders for their roles in small rural hospitals or Critical Access Hospitals.
- Intervention: A program to teach quality improvement methods, leadership and management skills, and networking support to hospital quality leaders.
- Results: In the program's first year, it has enrolled 38 participants.
Updated/reviewed March 2016
- Need: Fast diagnosis and stabilization in order to survive a cardiac emergency in the rural areas around Davenport, Washington.
- Intervention: Lincoln Hospital is prepared to quickly assess needs, deliver medications, and air transport heart attack patients to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, Washington.
- Results: Increased survival rates and other quality of life outcomes for heart attack patients from the rural areas of Lincoln County, Washington.
Last Updated: 11/1/2017