MAYVILLE - America's rural communities are wonderful places to live, work, and visit and Chautauqua County has proven no different. We are a unique community where our network of health care providers are coming together like never before to create an innovative, affordable, model of health care - a model for the rest of the country to follow as America transitions to a population, wellness-based system of health care. Chautauqua is on the leading edge of the quality improvement movement and has adopted and implemented evidenced-based programs and best practices resulting in a number of successes, including an exceptionally high adoption rate of Electronic Health Records among hospitals and physicians, use of chronic disease registries to better track patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and creation of one of the first rural Accountable Care Organizations in the country.
This story of successful collaboration and innovation is just one of the messages the Chautauqua County Health Network would like to share in partnership with the NYS Office of Rural Health and the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health to mark the third annual National Rural Health Day today. NOSORH created National Rural Health Day in 2011 as a way to increase awareness of rural health-related issues as well as to 'Celebrate the Power of Rural' and tout the good work being done in rural communities across the country.
The Chautauqua County Health Network is one of 32 rural health networks that are supported by the NYS Office of Rural Health to foster relationships, disseminate information and provide technical assistance that improves access to quality health care for rural citizens.
CCHN is comprised of the three hospital organizations, most physicians, and more than 50 local health and community based organizations including skilled nursing, home care, hospice, county government, business, and human service agencies.
CCHN also works closely with two related, physician-hospital networks, the Chautauqua Integrated Delivery System, and the Chautauqua Region Associated Medical Partners. Since 2009, Chautauqua's health system has been working together to become a clinically integrated network based on the belief that the collective group of providers can produce higher quality care beyond what the individual physician could achieve alone to improve the health of Chautauqua County residents.
CCHN is supporting the providers of IDS and AMP to redesign and modernize our local health care system to meet the needs of consumers while sustaining the viability of our local network so residents may continue to access quality health care services. At the heart of this strategy is assisting practices in our network to become a Patient Centered Medical Home, which is one of health care's most important innovations in recent history. This designation program, from the National Center for Quality Assurance, is a model of care that emphasizes care coordination and communication to transform primary care into "what patients want it to be."
It includes elements that might be very noticeable for the patients such as extended hours, online patient portals, and referral to community-based programs. It also includes things that the patient might not notice such as use of health information technology to track patient trends for reporting and quality improvement initiatives. PCMH is just one model Chautauqua is implementing to improve the health of community members, especially those with chronic conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
In addition, local hospitals are participating in Partnership for Patients - Hospital Engagement Network for New York State where staff is receiving intensive technical assistance and performance improvement-focused training to enhance the progress and commitment to patient safety with the overall goal of reducing hospital acquired conditions and preventable readmissions through physician and nurse led efforts.
To learn more about the innovative, resourceful models of quality care being delivered, visit www.cchn.net. Additional National Rural Health Day information is available at celebratepowerofrural.org.