Oregon State Flex Profile

Top Flex Activities

Program Area: Support for Quality Improvement: 

During FY 2016, the Oregon Office of Rural Health (OORH) has prioritized improving Medicare Beneficiary Quality Improvement Project (MBQIP) reporting and linking reporting to quality improvement programming. This includes:

  • Increasing training and peer learning opportunities
  • Making MBQIP data more meaningful by providing customizable benchmarking reports in Tableau
  • Recognizing top reporters through a formal recognition program that includes conference scholarships and a small grant to implement a quality project at their hospital
Please share a success story about reporting quality data or using quality data to help Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) in your state improve patient care: 

One success that OORH had this past year was the development of the Critical Access Hospital (CAH) Quality Reporting Guide, created by an experienced CAH Quality Officer in a frontier hospital. In Oregon, turnover in CAH Quality Officers has been high and it is important to have a step-by-step resource for new quality staff to be able to immediately access (without having to wait for a training opportunity).

Program Area: Support for Financial and Operational Improvement: 

For FY16, OORH is using the following to assess CAH financial and operational improvement:

  • CAH financial indicator and service line analysis and reporting  from the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems
  • Results from the annual Rural Facility Listening Tour, which included over 40 facilities and 16 stakeholder organizations
  • Reporting from three care coordination and financial improvement pilot project grants awarded to four CAHs
  • Identification and technical assistance to CAHs with a need for improved community benefit reporting
Program Area: Support for Population Health Management and Emergency Medical Services Integration: 

In order to provide customized, current analysis and reporting on community and service area health, OORH’s Data/GIS Analyst purchases 12 datasets annually, and acquires without cost more than two dozen others. The resulting OORH Primary Care Database contains the most comprehensive demographic and health status information for all rural areas in Oregon at the zip code level. This data is the source of the six-page Primary Care Service Area profiles, which have the latest zip code and county level information on demographics, socioeconomics, vital statistics, maternity characteristics, mortality, health risk factors, providers and primary care supply and demand numbers for all rural communities in Oregon. A sample of the current 2016 Service Area Profile and instructions for how to request customized profiles is available online. 

OORH produces the Areas of Unmet Health Care Needs (AUHCN) in Rural Oregon Report and the CAH Community Engagement report annually. Both are available on the OORH website.

Building on work during FY15, OORH is working with the Oregon Health authority's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Trauma Division to:

  • Develop standardized evidence-based protocols for STEMI, stroke and cardiac arrest
  • Research possible EMS treatment inequalities for pre-hospital pain medication practices for trauma patients in rural, frontier and urban settings
  • Create a database of Ambulance Service Area plans
From the last Flex Program year, please describe a best practice you would like to share with other states: 

OORH recommends the Rural Facility Listening Tour.

Program Statistics

What type of organization is your Flex office housed in?: 
What is the number of full time employees (FTE) in your Flex office?: 
How many CAHs are in your state?: 
Do you have any hospitals interested in converting to CAH status?: 

Additional Information

Flex Program Staff

Scott Ekblad
State Office Director, Oregon
(503) 494-4450

Specialty Areas / Background

  • Rural policy and legislative issues
  • Recruitment

State Office Director since January 2005 

Meredith Guardino
Director of Field Services, Oregon
(503) 494-4450
Stacie Rothwell
Program Manager, Rural Health Outcomes, Oregon
(503) 494-7416

Specialty Areas / Background

Provides subject matter expertise, evidence-based support and technical assistance to rural Oregon hospitals, clinics and community stakeholders on quality improvement and improving health outcomes.

Program Manager since September 2015

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, $1,100,000 (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.