Rural Health

According to the Rural Center, 80 of North Carolina’s 100 counties are considered rural, with an average population density of 250 people per square mile or less. Rural populations typically have:

  • Higher rates or proportions: poverty, uninsured, elderly, low income residents, chronic disease, unemployment, minority populations, health disparities, immigrants
  • Lower rates and proportions: income, education attainment, performing schools, early childhood education

NCHA works closely with member hospitals and the NC Office of Rural Health, a division of the NC Department of Health and Human Services, to support rural health improvements and outcomes.

NC Hospital Foundation grant-funded program

Click to view map of Critical Access Hospitals

This 4-year collaborative learning network, in partnership with the NC Office of Rural Health, a division of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, aims to improve the quality and safety of patient care through a focus on improving performance in inpatient and outpatient core measures and certain care transition measures as defined by the Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP), along with Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores.

NCHA is assisting hospitals in assessing current performance, identifying gaps and developing improvement plans to address identified opportunities. Training on basic quality improvement, data tracking and reporting with access to best practices and subject matter experts will help to establish a foundation for sustainable improvement.

NC Hospital Foundation grant-funded program

In cooperation with the NC Office of Rural Health, NCHA supports the implementation of small, rural hospital improvement projects for 33 small, rural hospitals through the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Grant Program (SHIP). The projects adopted by the SHIP-eligible hospitals include: ICD-10 improvements; ED improvement; addressing core measures and patient satisfaction; lean improvement; and improved care transitions.

NC Hospital Foundation grant-funded program

The Carolinas Lean Collaborative recently completed a five-year program with The Duke Endowment to help rural hospitals in North and South Carolina implement Lean to improve operations and services.

Data points:

  • $60 million in total savings
  • Average ROI across 19 hospitals was 4:1
  • 2,831 rural health professionals trained in lean improvement

Sponsored by the North Carolina Hospital Association, the South Carolina Hospital Association and The Duke Endowment, this annual conference focuses on current issues unique to small and rural health care executives. It is designed for hospital, health system, association and governmental employees and hospital and health system trustees. The conference is held in November each year in Charlotte.

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North Carolina Healthcare Association

2400 Weston Parkway
Cary, NC 27513

Main: 919-677-2400
Fax: 919-677-4200

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