Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Population Health and Health Policy

Prioritizing Patient Safety Interventions in Small and Rural Hospitals

Abstract: 

Background: A study was conducted in 2004 to determine if 26 interventions?distributed among nine patient safety areas and as recommended by an expert panel as relevant to rural hospitals?would be validated in terms of relevance and implementability for small and rural facilities.
Methods: The chief executive officers (CEOs) and/or key managers responsible for patient safety activities in a diverse group of 29 small and rural hospitals assessed the potential effectiveness and feasibility of the 26 interventions. Representatives of 25 hospitals participated in structured, follow-up phone discussions.
Results: Adverse drug events were the highest-priority area for 14 hospitals, followed by patient falls (selected by 5 hospitals). Some hospitals had already implemented intervention 1 (use at least two patient identifiers) and intervention 6 (read back of verbal orders) and thus ranked them highly, especially for implementability. Intervention 3 (24-hour pharmacist coverage) was ranked low, especially on implementability. Interventions involving health information technology were ranked lower by the hospitals than by the expert panel.
Discussion: Safety interventions should reflect the general state of the science of safe practices while incorporating relevant contextual issues unique to rural hospitals. The results have important implications for survey and accreditation activity, and the focus of technical assistance and research efforts.

Publication Type: 
Journal Article
Publish Date: 
December 1, 2006

Connect with Cutler

What makes the Cutler Institute unique? We are committed to our clients and partners and work closely with you to examine the root of an issue and provide sustainable solutions. Learn more about our work and services, and connect with our team of experts.

Learn More

Dr. Ziller to speak on Rural Implementation and Impact of Medicaid Expansions

The impact of the ACA Medicaid expansion on health care coverage and access in rural areas is largely unknown and will depend on the different state policy contexts in which the expansions are implemented and on existing system capacity. Understanding how many rural residents are likely to become newly eligible for Medicaid under the ACA, as well as their characteristics and health status, will provide important information to aid policymakers in structuring outreach and enrollment strategies and ensuring that the healthcare infrastructure and delivery systems in rural areas can address the needs of these individuals.

On March 18th, Dr. Ziller, Deputy Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center at the University of Southern Maine, will present via a SHARE webinar, nationally representative information identifying rural-urban differences among low-income non-elderly adults (18 to 65) in the following areas:

  • Medicaid eligibility, pre-ACA
  • Medicaid participation, pre-ACA
  • New Medicaid eligibility in 2014

Dr. Ziller will also analyze the characteristics associated with any rural-urban differences in the above areas. Characteristics to be considered include age, gender, employment, education, income, Census region, health status, current relationship to primary care provider, primary care supply, and FQHC availability.

This webinar is based on Dr. Ziller's research under a State Health Access Reform Evaluation (SHARE) grant to inform federal and state implementation of the ACA Medicaid expansion by estimating the size and characteristics of the rural population likely to be newly eligible.
Learn More

Connect With Us