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Improving Population Health: A Guide for Critical Access Hospitals

Best Practice Concepts in Revenue Cycle Management

Critical Access Hospital Finance 101 Manual

CMS CAH Fact Sheet

Swing Bed Fact Sheet

CMS RHC Fact Sheet

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is the lead Federal agency charged with improving the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans. As one of 12 agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services, AHRQ supports health services research that will improve the quality of health care and promote evidence-based decision making.

Association for Professionals in Infection Control
APIC’s mission is to improve health and patient safety by reducing risks of infection and other adverse outcomes. The Association’s more than 13,000 members have primary responsibility for infection prevention, control and hospital epidemiology in healthcare settings around the globe. APIC’s members include nurses, epidemiologists, physicians, quality and patient safety professionals, healthcare executives, microbiologists, clinical pathologists, laboratory technologists, and public health practitioners. APIC advances its mission through education, research, consultation, collaboration, public policy, practice guidance and credentialing.

Institute for Healthcare Improvement
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is an independent not-for-profit organization helping to lead the improvement of health care throughout the world. Founded in 1991 and based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, IHI works to accelerate improvement by building the will for change, cultivating promising concepts for improving patient care, and helping health care systems put those ideas into action.

Institute for Safe Medication
The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), based in suburban Philadelphia, is the nation’s only 501c (3) nonprofit organization devoted entirely to medication error prevention and safe medication use. ISMP represents over 30 years of experience in helping healthcare practitioners keep patients safe, and continues to lead efforts to improve the medication use process. The organization is known and respected worldwide as the premier resource for impartial, timely, and accurate medication safety information.

Montana AHEC
The mission of the Montana AHEC is accomplished by pursuing goals, objectives and activities which are common to all AHECs. These are changed and/or modified each year in response to decisions made by the federal granting agency. The following guidelines are used in establishing annual goals, objectives and activities:

  • Form productive linkages between healthcare units to the benefit of underserved and rural communities.
  • Foster and encourage collaborative community-based health programs.
  • Increase the number of minority and underserved youth entering health education programs.
  • Serve as a resource, clearinghouse and disseminators of health information.
  • Promote improved health and disease prevention through educational interventions.
  • Respond to emerging community-based needs regarding health issues.
  • Provide technical assistance on healthcare-related issues to underserved communities.
  • Help implement collaborative community-based, multidisciplinary education and training for health professionals and health professions students.

Montana Center to Advance Health Through Nursing
MT CAHN is the official state action coalition of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action; it was formed by state coalition co-leads Casey Blumenthal, Vice President, MHA...An Association of Montana Health Care Providers and Cynthia Gustafson, Executive Director of the Montana Board of Nursing.

The Montana Center to Advance Health through Nursing (MT CAHN) was formed in response to the October 2010 Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. The IOM report's recommendations are being brought to life through the work of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and AARP Center to Champion Nursing's Initiative on the Future of Nursing, which formed the current Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action. MT CAHN was named an official state Action Coalition for this initiative in September 2011.

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services/Quality Assurance Division
The role of the Quality Assurance Division (QAD) of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services is to protect the safety and well-being of Montanans by monitoring and ensuring the integrity and cost-effectiveness of programs administered by the department. One way the division fulfills this role is by licensing and/or certifying health care, child care, and residential services.  

Montana Office of Rural Health
Development of the Montana Office of Rural Health (MORH) was started in 1987 in partnership with the Montana Area Health Education Center (Montana AHEC). On April 30, 1991, Governor Stan Stephens designated Montana State University as the state entity to submit the Montana application for federal funding through the State Office of Rural Health (SORH) grant program. In 1991, the MORH received federal funding through the SORH grant program. On March 19, 1992, the Board of Regents of the Montana University System recognized the designation of the MORH as the program of Montana State University.

There are a variety of programs that the Montana Office of Rural Health (MORH) supports: Community Health Services Development (CHSD), Montana Rural Health Association (MRHA), Small Rural Hospital Improvement (SHIP) Grant, and the Lean Healthcare Project.

National Patient Safety Goals
In 2002, The Joint Commission established its National Patient Safety Goals program and the first set of NPSGs was effective January 1, 2003. The NPSGs were established to help accredited organizations address specific areas of concern in regards to patient safety. Each year, the Patient Safety Advisory Group works with Joint Commission staff to identify potential new NPSGs and, following field review, determines the highest priority NPSGs to recommend to The Joint Commission. The PSAG’s recommendations are forwarded to The Joint Commission’s Standards and Survey Procedures Committee and Board of Commissioners for approval prior to the year in which they are to be implemented.

National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health
The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) was established in 1995 to assist State Offices of Rural Health in their efforts to improve access to, and the quality of, health care for America’s 61 million rural citizens. NOSORH enhances the capacity of SORHs to do this by supporting the development of state and community rural health leaders; creating and facilitating state, regional and national partnerships that foster information sharing and spur rural health-related programs/activities; and enhancing access to quality healthcare services in rural communities.

National Rural Health Association
The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) is a national nonprofit membership organization with more than 20,000 members. The association’s mission is to provide leadership on rural health issues. NRHA membership consists of a diverse collection of individuals and organizations, all of whom share the common bond of an interest in rural health.

Office of Rural Health Policy
The Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) coordinates activities related to rural health care within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Part of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), ORHP has department-wide responsibility for analyzing the possible effects of policy on 62 million residents of rural communities.  Created by Section 711 of the Social Security Act, ORHP advises the Secretary on health issues within these communities, including the effects of Medicare and Medicaid on rural citizens’ access to care, the viability of rural hospitals, and the availability of physicians and other health professionals.ORHP administers grant programs designed to build health care capacity at both the local and State levels. These grants provide funds to 50 State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) to support on-going improvements in care, and to rural hospitals through the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Grant (Flex). Through its community-based programs, ORHP encourages network development among rural health care providers; upgrades in emergency medical services; and places and trains people in the use of automatic external defibrillators. ORHP also oversees the Black Lung Clinics grant program and the Radiation Exposure Screening and Education grant program. While these efforts are not solely focused on rural health issues, many of the populations affected reside in rural areas.

Quality Net-MedQic
Established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), QualityNet provides healthcare quality improvement news, resources and data reporting tools and applications used by healthcare providers and others. QualityNet is the only CMS-approved website for secure communications and healthcare quality data exchange between: quality improvement organizations (QIOs), hospitals, physician offices, nursing homes, end stage renal disease (ESRD) networks and facilities, and data vendors. is a comprehensive online resource for registered nurses considering a bachelor's degree in nursing. Our team has collected all the unbiased, research based information you need to make informed decisions about your education. From selecting the right program to choosing a specialty and finding a job, we have answers to all your questions. Learn about more than 7,000 nursing programs, including over 800 RN to BSN programs, at nearly 1,800 schools to find the nursing degree program that best suits your career goals. Then read our exhaustive guide, designed specifically for students considering a bachelor's degree in nursing, to get started on your degree and ramp up your nursing career.

Rural Assistance Center
A product of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Rural Initiative, the Rural Assistance Center (RAC) was established in December 2002 as a rural health and human services "information portal." RAC helps rural communities and other rural stakeholders access the full range of available programs, funding, and research that can enable them to provide quality health and human services to rural residents.

Rural Health Resource Center
The National Rural Health Resource Center provides technical assistance to Rural Hospital Flexibility grantees, information, tools and resources for the improvement of rural health care. It serves as a national rural health knowledge center and strives to build state and local capacity.