Support for Quality Improvement in CAHs
Flex Programs are required to support efforts to improve and sustain the quality of care provided by CAHs to ensure that rural citizens receive high-quality, appropriate care in their communities. Activities in this area can include supporting CAHs with quality measurement, reporting, and benchmarking as well as supporting CAHs in building quality and patient safety improvement systems and capacity.
Health information technology (HIT) can be used as a tool to help improve the quality of care provided by CAHs. Activities in this area can include assisting CAHs in accessing available technical assistance and support to achieve standards of “meaningful use” as defined by the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT and CMS; facilitating sharing HIT infrastructure and staff to support implementation of electronic health records (EHRs) or health information exchanges (HIEs); and assisting CAHs in training and supporting clinicians and staff in meaningful use of EHRs, related technologies, or HIEs. Flex funds should support CAHs in using HIT to improve quality and patient safety rather than purchase hardware and software for CAHs.