|Grants encourage use of technology to improve rural health care delivery|
Eleven grants have been awarded to facilities that have shown the initiative to utilize information and communication technology to improve health care delivery in rural communities.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) awarded $375,000 through its Rural Health Grant Program, which is administered by the Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
“Health information technology is a critical component of maintaining access to health care in rural North Dakota and improving efficiencies in delivering that care,” said Mike Unhjem, president and CEO of BCBSND. “We are proud of our investment in this program, and ultimately the outcomes that result from the innovative programs that we help fund.”
Grant recipients are:
Kenmare Community Hospital of Kenmare, Altru Health System of Grand Forks, Southwest Healthcare Services of Bowman, Tioga Medical Center of Tioga, Nelson County Health System of McVille, Northwood Deaconess Health Center of Northwood, Presentation Medical Center of Rolla, Heart of America Medical Center of Rugby, Mountrail County Health Center of Stanley, McKenzie County Healthcare Systems Inc. of Watford City, and St. Andrew’s Health Center of Bottineau.
“Many of North Dakota’s health care facilities are moving forward with the necessary, but very expensive endeavor of implementing health information technology,” said Lynette Dickson, the grant program’s director at the Center for Rural Health. “This transition from paper to technology is fundamental to facilitate the access and exchange of health information for their patients in order to provide the most comprehensive and safe care. These BCBSND grants are a valuable resource contributing to making the vision of an interconnected, efficient, quality-based health care system a reality for North Dakota.”
In an effort to strengthen the rural health delivery system in North Dakota, BCBSND initiated a new rural health grant program in 2001. Developed and administered by the Center for Rural Health, the purpose of the grant program is to support communities who demonstrate an effective plan to successfully transition to new models of rural health care delivery.
For more information about the BCBSND Rural Health Grand Program visit: http://www.med.und.nodak.edu/depts/rural/sorh/bcbs
-- Denis MacLeod, Communications Specialist, Center for Rural Health, email@example.com, 701-777-3300