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Office of Rural Health

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Rural Promising Practices

Rural Promising Practices

Historically, the Office of Rural Health (ORH) provided seed funding for innovative local projects that sought to address rural Veterans’ health care and access issues. Building on the findings of this work, ORH identified projects that showed significant impact based on select criteria. These proven models of care – known as Rural Promising Practices – are now being implemented nationwide. These programs:

  • Increase access to care and services for rural Veterans and their families in the communities where they live
  • Share clinical and operational knowledge among health care delivery professionals who serve rural Veterans
  • Mentor program champions so they can successfully implement these strong practices
  • Contribute to long-term improvements in the rural health care delivery system

Rural Promising Practices are nominated through the Veterans Rural Heath Resource Centers (VRHRC) and undergo a rigorous review to earn Rural Promising Practice designation. A third-party objective review ensures the nominated project meets the six ORH Promising Practice criteria:

  • Increased Access – The approach brings about measurable increases in access to care or services, for example, by reducing wait time or missed appointments.
  • Strong Partnerships – The approach creates partnerships and maximizes efficiency.
  • Clinical Impact – Results of the approach are proven and positive on the health of rural Veterans.
  • Return on Investment – The approach reduces the per capita costs of delivering care or services, while maintaining or improving outcomes.
  • Operational Feasibility – Implementation of the approach is feasible and strategies for success can easily be shared.
  • Customer Satisfaction – The approach demonstrated Veteran, provider, partner and caregiver satisfaction.

To support the adoption of the Rural Promising Practices, VRHRC staff provide mentored implementation to help new sites establish the program through training, supporting documents, ongoing technical consultation and initial funding through the Office of Rural Health.

Mentored Implementation

A select group of Rural Promising Practices are selected for mentored implementation. Mentored implementation is accomplished when ORH and VRHRC project managers work with subject matter experts to assist VA sites across the country in adopting rural Promising Practices. This assistance may include training, ongoing technical consultation and initial funding to bring the Rural Promising Practice to life in facilities across the country.

VA Medical Centers interested in implementing an ORH Rural Promising Practice should contact the Veteran Rural Health Resource Center Lead associated with each initiative listed below.

The following Rural Promising Practices are in place in various VA sites of care throughout the country:

Direct Implementation

In addition to Rural Promising Practices that offer mentored implementation support, the Office of Rural Health offers additional Rural Promising Practices that can be implemented directly without additional support.

Lessons Learned: Rural Case Study Challenges Increasing Access to Dental Care Among Rural Veterans

Please contact the appropriate Veterans Rural Health Resource Center for more information.