Rural Connection: Strengthening Care Through Technology (Idaho)

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Summary:

The purpose of this project was to investigate ways to use information technology (IT) to improve patient safety within Rural Connection facilities. Two planning teams in Weiser and Grangeville, and a Health IT Task Force were convened to develop an implementation plan that would work for all Rural Connection members and all patient populations. On a monthly basis, the planning teams, task force, and end users of patient information met in Weiser, Grangeville, and Boise. Many participants also attended relevant conferences and reported back to the groups. The planning teams decided on a core set of patient data that would be sufficient for the needs of all end users as the patient progresses through the continuum of care. The data decided upon was: Discharge Summary, History and Physical, Diagnostic Test Results, and Medication List. The planning teams then assessed the flow of information between the departments and facilities that would use or provide this information to identify areas that could be improved using IT. Surveys were also conducted within the planning communities and at Rural Connection facilities to assess the needs and attitudes of adopting information technology. Using the information that was gained from the planning communities, Health IT Task Force, and surveys, an implementation plan was developed for an implementation grant from AHRQ.

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