Surviving health care reform is a significant challenge for critical access hospitals in Texas. Several CAHs nationwide have had to close their doors in recent years due to the changing health care environment, and the survival of these facilities will depend highly on their ability to improve quality outcomes. A new initiative from the Texas Hospital Association Foundation in partnership with the Texas A&M Health Science Center Rural and Community Health Institute and funded by the Texas Department of Agriculture’s State Office of Rural Health will help CAHs do just that.
The Critical Access Hospital Quality Improvement Program will help CAHs with various aspects of their quality improvement activities, including program planning, data submission, data management and analysis, and best practice development, all of which are crucial for the implementation, evaluation and maintenance of a solid hospital quality program. Specifically, the program aims to:
- Enhance CAH board members’ engagement in hospital QI;
- Advance the expertise of CAH management and staff in hospital QI activities;
- Increase reporting of CAH quality data;
- Enhance the knowledge of CAHs on the benefits of the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey; and
- Create a network for CAHs that will continually address CAH quality issues in Texas.
This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number H54RH26521, Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Grant Program, $700,663 (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.