University of North Dakota Center for Rural Health
Top Flex Activities
CAH Quality Improvement
The North Dakota (ND) Critical Access Hospital (CAH) Quality Network hosts quarterly meetings to facilitate the exchange of state survey findings between CAHs. Best practices, policies, and other resources are shared to help CAHs prepare for their surveys and to help develop a plan of correction if necessary. The North Dakota Flex Program maintains CAH participation in the Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP). The North Dakota Flex Program collaborates with other quality improvement related initiatives involving CAHs and emergency medical services (EMS).
CAH Operational and Financial Improvement
The North Dakota Flex Program identifies CAHs in most need through a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) process and makes available a limited number of subcontract awards for financial and operational improvement projects. In addition, the North Dakota Flex Program provides ongoing education around various topics including Medicare compliance, billing and coding, Board of Director's Boot Camp, and the Peer Exchange Program. For the Peer Exchange Program, the North Dakota Flex Program provides travel support for individuals or small groups to meet with similar entities from other areas of the state and share information, ideas, and successful approaches to improving quality and access to health care services.
CAH Population Health Improvement
North Dakota's Flex Program's activities related to this area include:
- Assisting CAHs in identifying specific health needs of their communities and supports planning and implementation of related activities
- Assisting CAHs with developing strategies for engaging with community partners and targeting specific health needs
The North Dakota Flex Program, through a competitive RFP process, makes available a limited amount of funding to support programming that addresses a significant need identified by the hospital's most recent community health needs assessment process. These projects encourage collaboration between the CAHs, local public health units, and other community organizations and stakeholders, while they promote community engagement and healthy behaviors.
Rural Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Improvement
Through ongoing partnerships with various stakeholders, as well as a subcontract with the state EMS Association, the North Dakota Flex Program assists with building local and regional EMS capacity and performance in CAH communities and improving integration of EMS in local/regional systems of care. Activities related to this area include:
- Facilitating meetings between CAHs and EMS agencies to strengthen regional communication channels among EMS agencies and CAHs
- Providing EMS management conference and training courses for EMS leaders
- Conducting behavioral health training sessions for EMS and nursing staff
- Offering National Association of Emergency Medical Technician's (EMT) EMS Safety Courses
- Assisting EMS agencies by providing them technical assistance and conducting strategic planning sessions for those agencies
- Providing EMS Leadership Training
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 primary purpose of this North Dakota Flex EMS Supplemental proposal is to implement a demonstration project on data collection and reporting for a set of rural-relevant EMS quality measures. The process will directly involve rural EMS agencies, providers, and enhanced training. Rural EMS in North Dakota is in the early days of employing a new electronic platform for data collection and submission; therefore, this initiative will enhance the utilization of the new system.
The North Dakota Flex Program will partner with the North Dakota EMS Association and North Dakota Department of Health, Division of EMS to establish a reliable foundation for quality improvement, based on active participation and engagement from the rural EMS community. Identified subject matter experts (SMEs) and agencies will be engaged in the selection of rural relevant measures that will involve a multi-step process involving an assessment and review from the state data repository and comparisons with a national rural EMS database. During this process, the SMEs will be involved as part of a structured focus group looking at data/metric gaps, and prioritization and ranking of rural metrics. Each of the SMEs will be trained as mentors and will work directly with a cohort of two to four rural agencies, which will provide them the opportunity to work and learn in small group settings.
Continuous training will be made available via the Project ECHO platform, using videoconferencing to build local skills and capacity in data collection, as well as how to use the data to improve processes and quality of EMS care. Ultimately, the North Dakota Flex EMS Supplement project will allow benchmark comparisons of North Dakota quality measures through reports to the ESO Solutions national dataset that will inform the development of rural-relevant quality measures.
Please provide information about network activities in your state to support Flex Program activities.
The North Dakota CAH Quality Network serves as a common platform for CAHs to share best practices, tools, and resources related to providing quality care. The mission of the network is to support ongoing performance improvement. Goals of the network include improved networking and information sharing at both the regional and state level among CAHs, tertiary facilities, and other stakeholders to prevent duplication of efforts. All 36 North Dakota CAHs are members of this network. An executive committee of CAH representatives serve as a decision-making body and provide leadership to the members, as well as oversee the network's efforts. A stakeholder committee, represented by statewide partner organizations, provides feedback and a link to increase communication.
|Type of Organization||University|
|Number of CAHs||36|