Special Projects Fund

Grantee Name

Northern New York Rural Health Care Alliance

Funding Area

Special Projects Fund

Publication Date

May 2010

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

October 2007–October 2008


New York State has 13 Critical Access Hospitals that serve as lifelines to the communities where they are located.

Critical Access Hospitals tend to have tight operating budgets, small staff volumes, and unpredictable revenue, all circumstances under which quality improvement courses, techniques, and campaigns are generally not feasible. Moreover, communication between these 13 Critical Access Hospitals is limited, with no opportunities for them to learn from each other or consult on shared concerns.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Twelve of New York’s 13 Critical Access Hospitals were recruited to participate in the initiative;
  • All 13 Critical Access Hospitals received training and instruction regarding the Model for Improvement and the Plan-Do-Study-Act methodology; and 10 Critical Access Hospitals attended the review session. Twelve of the Critical Access Hospital representatives have used the methodology and are now teaching it to others;
  • More than half of the Critical Access Hospitals began using the data collected to review their menu of services as part of the “study phase” of their PDSA cycle; and
  • 92% of Critical Access Hospitals representatives completed the project, used the methods taught in other areas, and shared their successes and challenges with other teams and facilities.