HealthLeaders Media Community and Rural Hospital Weekly - May 21, 2008 View as a Webpage | Subscribe for Free

Readers Write
Carrie Vaughan, Editor, Community Hospitals
A few weeks back, I wrote about a study confirming the obvious: Long ambulance rides increase your risk of death. I wrote that piece based on the premise that patients were still being brought to the nearest ED—it's just that those facilities happen to be farther away. But what if people in your community were choosing to drive 30 minutes past your hospital's ED to go to a larger hospital up the road? [Read More]
May 21, 2008
Editor's Picks

Med schools can boost rural physician supply
Medical schools could more than double the number of new graduates going into rural practice if each adds a rural training program, according to a study in the journal Academic Medicine. The study estimates that if each of the 125 allopathic medical schools committed 10 seats per class to a rural training track, the schools would produce 1,139 new rural doctors a year, or 11,390 physicians over 10 years. [Read More]

Rural hospitals link to statewide health information exchange
Richland Parish Hospital in Delhi, LA, is the first hospital in the state to successfully send patient information and radiological images to the Louisiana Rural Health Information Exchange. Eventually, 44 rural hospitals will be connected to the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center through this exchange, which will enable them to consult with specialists remotely and save their patients a long—and costly—drive to Shreveport. [Read More]

China has similar healthcare woes
I wouldn't have thought that China and Tennessee have much in common when it comes to healthcare. But providing quality healthcare in rural areas is a problem facing countries worldwide, which is why a delegation from China is visiting healthcare providers in Tennessee, seeking strategies to improve rural medicine. [Read More]

Finding a medical home
Many healthcare consumers who are frustrated by a lack of access to their primary-care physician are seeking healthcare at retail clinics at a time that is convenient for them. So to offer patients more comprehensive care that is still consumer friendly, practices like Union Square Family Health in Somerville, MA, are creating "medical homes." These practices—led by a physician or nurse-practitioner—offer patients easy access to medical staff through same-day office appointments, weekend and evening hours, e-mail, and phone. In addition, they provide as many services as possible in one location and coordinate all other care from prevention through hospitalization. [Read More]

Leaders Forum

Is a Tidal Wave About to Wipe Out the Healthcare Sector?
Many hospitals and healthcare facilities have come face-to-face with the reality that factors largely out of their control, like insurance reimbursement and government funding, will ultimately determine whether they survive-perhaps in a different form with a new owner or in a downsized facility-or shut down. This environment creates huge challenges for chief executive officers to stay one step ahead of the executioner. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines

In hospitals, simple reminders reduce deadly infections
New York Times - May 19, 2008
St. Joseph's should build Riverview, FL, hospital, judge says
St. Petersburg Times - May 19, 2008
Maury County, TN, hospital to join Williamson Medical Center in appeal
The Tennessean - May 19, 2008
Northwestern Memorial Hospital buys land in Chicago's north suburbs
Chicago Tribune - May 19, 2008
MDs at Beverly, MA, hospital vote to rebuff hospital's executive
Boston Globe - May 15, 2008
Cleveland Clinic to pay tuition for medical school students
Cleveland Plain Dealer - May 15, 2008
Blue Island, IL, OKs tax breaks for new owners of St. Francis Hospital
Chicago Tribune - May 16, 2008
Study: Quality lags at safety-net hospitals
HealthDay/Washington Post - May 14, 2008
From HealthLeaders Magazine
Shared Success
  Crafting a true partnership-often with a perceived competitor-is a complex task. Here's how some hospitals are doing it. [Read More]
Community Call
Discussion Board
Each week, Community Call will pose a question to encourage community and rural hospital leaders to share success stories and best practices. This week's question is "Any advice on how to reverse patient outmigration from your service area?"
Audio Feature
Improving Your Hospital's Performance: It is often a struggle for small community hospitals to provide the healthcare services that their communities need while staying financially viable. So how can your hospital improve its overall performance? Terry Hill, the executive director of the Rural Health Resource Center in Duluth, MN, discusses what elements a comprehensive performance improvement initiative should include and what role the senior leadership should play in these initiatives. [Listen Now]