Quality Through Collaboration: The Future of Rural Health

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Submitted by National Center... on Nov 10, 2014 - 2:56pm CST

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Rural America is a vital component of American society. Representing nearly 20 percent of the population, rural communities, like urban landscapes, are rich in cultural diversity.  However, the smaller, poorer, and more isolated a rural community is, the more difficult it is to ensure the availability of high-quality health services.  The Institute of Medicine report, Quality Through Collaboration: The Future of Rural Health examines the quality of health care in rural America.

In the report, the committee offers a five-pronged strategy to address the quality challenges in rural communities:

  1. adopting an integrated approach to addressing both personal and population health needs;
  2. establishing a stronger health care quality improvement support structure to assist rural health systems and professionals;
  3. enhancing the human resource capacity of health care professionals in rural communities, and the preparedness of rural residents to actively engage in improving their health and health care;
  4. assuring that rural health care systems are financially stable; and
  5. investing in an information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure, which has enormous potential to enhance health and health care over the coming decade. 
Institute of Medicine
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