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NM Department of Health/Population and Community Health/Office of Primary Care and Rural Health

Top Flex Activities

CAH Quality Improvement

The New Mexico Office of Primary Care and Rural Health (OPCRH) collaborates with contractors to support hospitals in their continued shared accountability of patient safety by offering hospital staff, senior leaders, and physicians on-site education regarding their roles in quality, patient safety and process improvement, high-reliability organizations, and team trainings. OPCRH also: 

  • Provides ongoing quality improvement support to the quality improvement leads through email, phone calls, site visits, or training and education opportunities
  • Hosts quarterly virtual meetings and one in-person opportunity per year for all the Quality Directors representing the participating hospitals to network and share learning opportunities
  • Provides webinars on specific clinical topics to improve patient safety on select nationally accepted Flex-related indicators
  • Promotes and supports hospital participation in patient safety training and other educational meetings provided by the New Mexico Hospital Association

New Mexico critical access hospitals (CAHs) all use different electronic systems, and have different methods of reporting and distributing data. OPCRH partners with iVantage, to provide technical assistance focused on quality improvement (QI) related to the Medicare Beneficiaries Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP) measures. This has opened great sharing of quality measures and improvement ideas with these quality directors. New Mexico rural hospitals are identifying areas of QI and using a network-based approach to facilitate best practice exchanges among the participating hospitals.

CAH Operational and Financial Improvement

In New Mexico, financial assessment benchmarking is being done by a group of small rural hospitals and CAH leaders. They look at the financial indicators that they chose, assess the greatest need by the group, and focus on how to improve those measures. These activities are organized by the New Mexico Rural Hospital Network. This year they have focused on revenue and billing measures.

Rural Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Improvement

New Mexico is working with Eastern Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Corp to conduct leadership training based on the assessment completed last year. On-site leadership trainings are ongoing since the beginning of 2019. Joint discussions and educational opportunities are being provided to CAH emergency department (ED) staff and EMS services to discuss how calls went, and how they can be improved on in the future are conducted throughout the state regularly. The main goal is to improve services being provided to the public.

If your Flex Program was funded for one of the eight competitive Flex EMS awards, please describe your project, your partners, and intended long-term outcomes.

The project will result in increased quality of input documentation and a better capability of running meaningful reports for QI activities. Review of inputted reports will reflect a better understanding of how to input and read data from inputted run reports and an enhanced ability to run regular and meaningful QI reports for improvement of patient care. It will also result in the participation of Emergency Medical Sevices Tracking and Reporting Systems (EMSTARS) by all rural EMS managers and medical directors. Long-term outcomes for this project include better access to quality rural EMS care and better health for New Mexicans.

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

New Mexico has a strong networking focus. The New Mexico Rural Hospital Network and the New Mexico Hospital Association have regular leadership meetings.  Many subgroups have developed and now they have ED staff networking, quality directors, nurses, and financial staff. So many great things are being shared and learned through these networking groups. 

Program Statistics

Do you have any hospitals interested in converting to CAH status?:
Type of Organization State Government
Staffing (FTE) 1
Website Organization Website
Number of CAHs 9

Flex Program Staff

Tim Lopez
State Office Director, New Mexico
(505) 222-8671

State Office Director since August 2015

Martina Garcia
Flex and SHIP Coordinator, New Mexico

Flex and SHIP Coordinator since May 2019.

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, $1,009,121 (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.