Oregon Flex State Profile
The Technical Assistance and Services Center (TASC), a program of the National Rural Health Resource Center, provides technical assistance for the Rural Hospital Medicare Flexibility (Flex) Program in the form of information, tools and resources. State Flex Programs benefit from sharing information with one another and the Flex State Profiles are meant to be a method to encourage that sharing.
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The Oregon Flex Program conducts the majority of quality improvement activities through collaborative relationships and established CAH networks, such as the Oregon Rural Healthcare Quality Network (ORHQN). The ORHQN is a quality and performance improvement network of Oregon’s 25 critical access hospitals (CAHs).
The Oregon Flex Program provides funding to ORHQN for training and education to Oregon’s CAHs for TeamSTEPPS, Lean performance improvement and other quality and patient safety initiatives.
The Oregon Flex Program will also continue to support the development and implementation of the emergency medical services (EMS) web-based system and utilize the data gathered to shape future EMS quality improvement trainings. The Oregon Flex Program provides funding to the State EMS office for their Pediatric Simulation Project.
Another focus area for Oregon’s Flex Program’s quality improvement activities is health information technology (HIT), which is a top priority for Oregon CAHs. The Oregon Flex Program partners closely with the hospital association to support CAHs with implementing electronic health records (EHRs) and creating community health information exchanges (HIEs).
Finally, the Oregon Flex Program partners closely with the Oregon Patient Safety Commission and the hospital association to reduce health care acquired infections in CAHs.
The Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (OAHHS) Small and Rural Hospital Committee (SRC) established the Rural Health Reform Initiative (RHRI) to prepare Oregon’s 32 type A/B hospitals for transformational changes.
This RHRI has two primary goals; 1) Sustaining rural hospitals and providers: Preserving access to local health care services for rural Oregonians through sustainable state and federal funding for type A/B hospitals and health systems; and, 2) Prepare for the future: Take the steps necessary to design and implement new models of care delivery and reimbursement for rural hospitals.
The RHRI is a multi-year, multi-stakeholder strategic initiative that will sustain and support Oregon’s rural hospitals and preserve local access to quality care for rural Oregonians. Initial RHRI Objectives:
- Create a RHRI webpage that includes a library of resources..
Technical and research assistance provided through workgroups
- Establish collaborative learning peer groups for data analysis.
- Measures and Metrics: facilitated development of performance metrics that demonstrate value and support sustainable rural care delivery.
- Performance improvement: creating actionable information and metrics for improvement.
Innovation and growth:
- Facilitating informed decision-making around the design and implementation of new models of care delivery and reimbursement.
The Oregon Flex Program supports CAHs in developing effective community benefits programs by providing research data and on-site technical assistance and effectively engaging community stakeholders. ORH strengthens and supports existing programs by facilitating community engagement activities; including community health needs assessments, planning, and improvement activities. We partner with the state hospital association to assist CAHs in implementing community accountability programs and consistent reporting of community benefit activities. The result of these community planning and assessment activities enable CAHs to better meet the needs of the community, and as a result enhance the health of their community.
The Oregon Flex Program is committed to strengthening EMS services as an important component of collaborative delivery systems. We facilitate stronger and more meaningful relationships between EMS agencies and their medical directors. We provide technical assistance to improve business practices and increase EMS personnel effectiveness. We provide monthly EMS and trauma based continuing education webinars to rural emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and trauma coordinators.
For the first time, the Oregon Rural Health Quality Network (ORHQN) presented awards for quality improvement. Peace Harbor Hospital won the “Overall Top Performing ORHQN Quality Health Indicator Participating Hospital” for scoring as a top performer in minimizing hospital acquired infections, patient falls, pneumonia immunization, and discharge instructions for heart failure patients. Each month, participating hospitals enter their data for selected quality measures.
Peace Health received an "Honorable Mention" from the National Rural Health Resource Center for demonstrating excellence and innovation in the area of quality.
Peace Health also participates in Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP) and scored 100% on every measure for on all three quarters reported. They are one of the U.S. News “Best Hospitals 2013”.
State Contact Details
Specialty Areas / Background
Rural policy and legislative issues and recruitment
State Office Director since January 2005
Speciality Areas / Background
Network development, grant and contract administration, grant writing, and grants/contracts management
Flex Coordinator since November 2010
Specialty Areas / Background
Communications, EMS, rural policy, and legislative issues
Director of Communications since June 2006
Specialty Areas / Background
Community engagement, board development, and finance
Director of Field Services since January 2005