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Quality Improvement in Rural Hospitals: How Networking Can Help


This technical assistance resource discusses the challenges and obstacles faced by small, rural hospitals, as well as the assets and advantages often overlooked in considering how to improve health care quality. It explores how rural hospitals can collaborate to overcome potential barriers and use networks as a vehicle for implementing and sustaining meaningful quality improvement initiatives. It also provides quality improvement projects examples and a resource guide.

This tool addresses the following topics:
  • Where do rural hospitals stand?
  • How to define quality improvement
  • How networking can improve quality
  • Rural hospitals: challenges and obstacles
  • Rural hospitals: assets and advantages
  • Examples of quality improvement projects
  • Key resources
  • References
Links to the Tool:
This tool is available at: (If you don't have the software to open this PDF, download free Adobe Acrobat Reader® software External Web Site Policy.)


National Rural Health Resource Center; The Networking for Rural Health Project

Funding Sources

Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy

QualityTool Topic



  • Release Date: 08/2002
  • Original Summary: 05/2008
Disclaimer: The inclusion of a tool in the Innovations Exchange does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or Westat of the tool or of the submitter or developer of the tool. Read more.

Last updated: June 09, 2008.