North Dakota Rural Health Clinic Network launches statewide

A new network for certified Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) throughout the state of North Dakota has been developed through the Center for Rural Health at the School of Medicine & Health Sciences. The North Dakota Rural Health Clinic Network will make a difference for healthcare in the state by bridging knowledge and expertise across health systems.

“The Rural Health Clinic Network will be an opportunity for RHCs to share information about best practices, Conditions for Certification, and any other common themes among ND RHCs,” said Anna Walter, project coordinator for the Network.

The Rural Health Clinic Network was created this summer to provide a platform for North Dakota RHCs. Participants will receive support for Conditions for Certification, quality and performance improvement, and to improve communication and collaboration among healthcare providers to best serve the rural health organizations and their communities.

There are 54 RHCs in North Dakota. The model for the Network is based off of the Critical Access Hospital (CAH) Quality Network that has been in existence at the Center for Rural Health since 2007. The CAH Quality Network has been wildly successful and has all 36 CAHs in the state as members.

Goals

  • Assist RHCs to meet Conditions for Certification for compliance
  • Allow access to an online virtual library of resources and network webpage
  • Provide RHC-focused educational opportunities
  • Offer a platform for shared learning across North Dakota RHCs

Benefits

  • Central coordination/liaison working on behalf of RHCs with stakeholders
  • Direct technical assistance for RHCs to improve healthcare
  • Assistance for RHCs with identification of top statewide needs
  • Access to timely information that is applicable to RHCs
  • RHC-focused educational opportunities

Funding is provided by the North Dakota Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Program and the North Dakota State Office of Rural Health program. Flex is a federally funded Health Resources and Services Administration grant that provides for the creation of rural health networks, promotes regionalization of rural health services, and improves access to hospital and other services for rural residents. SORH is a federal-state partnership that helps rural communities build their healthcare services through collaborations and initiatives with a wide range of partners across the state, with funding provided through the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy.

About the Center for Rural Health

Established in 1980 at the University of North Dakota, the Center for Rural Health is one of the nation’s most experienced rural health organizations. It has developed a full complement of programs to assist researchers, educators, policymakers, healthcare providers, and most important, rural residents to address changing rural environments by identifying and researching rural health issues, analyzing health policy, strengthening local capabilities, developing community-based alternatives, and advocating for rural concerns. For more information, visit RuralHealth.und.edu.