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Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Bureau of Community Health Systems

Top Flex Activities

CAH Quality Improvement

Quality 101 is an annual multi-day workshop for new critical access hospital (CAH) Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and quality staff. This program is intended to help reduce turnover in quality positions. It is also a collaboration between all of the organizations in Kansas that work on hospital quality issues, and provides new CAH staff with the opportunity to network with their peers on quality issues.

The Patient Satisfaction Learning Collaborative takes small cohorts of CAHs through patient satisfaction learning opportunities and site visits with CAH nursing staff and provides assistance with assessing patient satisfaction through surveys, for example. The second cohort will complete its work in November.

The Kansas Flex Program has initiated a multi-year project to identify and collect meaningful swing-bed measures. They will use the data in the later years of the grant period to support facilities in improving their swing bed programs.

CAH Operational and Financial Improvement

The Kansas Flex Program has put considerable efforts toward dealing with the turnover of the quality directors at CAHs, including site visits, repeating education programs, holding webinars, and continuing to offer Quality 101 annually. The Kansas Flex Program is also developing a program of intensive financial-health technical assistance, including a financial summit for CAHs statewide, and onsite technical assistance (TA) for a select hospital or two.

New to this grant period will be a five-year project intended to measure and improve CAH employee engagement and workforce culture. The program will work with the Kansas Recruitment and Retention Center (KRRC), an arm of the Rural Health Education and Services office of the University of Kansas Medical Center. KRRC will design an employee engagement assessment, use the results to develop workforce-culture initiatives for hospital leadership, and reassess in Year-5 to measure improvement in employee engagement over the course of the five-year project period.

CAH Population Health Improvement

The Kansas Flex Program will assist hospitals in analyzing their communities’ most recent health data, including inpatient claims data, to identify current health trends that may play into their community health needs assessments (CHNAs). The program will also connect CAHs and their communities with statewide partners and subject matter experts to address individual needs such as mental health, and develop action steps. In addition, the program will provide education to hospital leadership on the benefits of engaging in population health initiatives, specifically tailored to address some of the concerns raised in the November 2018 focus group discussion.

In conjunction, the Kansas Flex Program will specifically engage county commissioners and other local elected officials to educate them on the roles and responsibilities of healthcare entities in their communities, and on how they can collaborate with and support the efforts of these organizations.

The program will also support hospitals' participating in the Healthy Kansas Hospital initiative, promoting best practices in the implementation of population health worksite wellness activities within the hospital and its community.

Rural Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Improvement

The Kansas Flex Program continues to support the EMS/Hospital Committee in discussing rural hospital and EMS challenges, best practices in utilizing limited resources, and models for integrated health in rural communities. Additionally, the program will work to support the adoption of the Rural Ambulance Service Budget Model toolkit across Kansas EMS agencies.

Please provide information about network activities in your state to support Flex Program activities.

The Kansas Flex Program has been actively involved with other Kansas quality-improvement partners, through the Kansas Quality Improvement Partnership (KQIP), to promote voluntary reporting of quality data as part of the Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP), and the Partnership for Patients – Hospital Engagement Network initiative. 

Program Statistics

Do you have any hospitals interested in converting to CAH status?:
No
Type of Organization State Government
Staffing (FTE) 3
Website Organization Website
Number of CAHs 82

Flex Program Staff

Amy Swanson
State Office Director, Kansas
785-296-8113

Started in 2019.

Caroline Wroczynski
Flex Coordinator, Kansas
785-291-3796

Started in October 2019.

Jennifer Findley
Hospital Performance Improvement Coordinator, Kansas
(785) 233-7436

Hospital Performance Improvement Coordinator since March 2015

Susan Runyan
MBQIP Coordinator, Kansas

MBQIP Coordinator since October 2016

This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UB1RH24206, Information Services to Rural Hospital Flexibility Program Grantees, $1,205,000 (0% financed with nongovernmental sources). This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.