Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Improving Rural Healthcare Delivery

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota awarded seven grants for $375,000 to provide health technologies to improve healthcare delivery in rural communities. The Rural Health Grant Program administered by the Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences will administer the grants.

The seven grants will go to:

• Hospice of the Red River Valley of Fargo will use the funds to implement software that will improve communication and care coordination between rural and urban providers across the entire hospice patient care experience

• Catholic Health Initiatives of Fargo will use the funds to fully integrate two-way video support in emergency rooms of four critical access hospitals. The telehealth technology will provide round-the-clock access to emergency care specialists

• St. Alexius Foundation of Bismarck will use the grant to buy telehealth equipment to monitor patients daily that are diagnosed with chronic diseases in their homes after a hospital discharge

• Ye Olde Medicine Center of Park River will use the funds to expand the Park River telepharmacy services to Drayton North Dakota

• Wishek Hospital Clinic Association of Wishek will use the grant to support the implementation of electronic medical records in two critical access hospitals

• St. Andrew’s Health Center of Bottineau on behalf of Northwest Alliance for Information Technology (NWAIT) will use the funds to expand data storage capacity to enable 10 rural hospitals that make up NWAIT to expand and maximize their electronic health records and shared patient information

• Garrison Memorial Hospital of Garrison will use the grant funding to implement ECG units in community Memorial Hospital and 3 clinics. The units will test results that are transmitted over a secure wireless connection to be viewed by on-call cardiologist at the St. Alexius Medical Center

For more information go to or email Lynette Dickson, Program Director, Center for Rural Health at