University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center

Research Products & Journal Articles

Browse the full list of research publications from this Rural Health Research Center.

Products – Freely accessible products include policy briefs, fact sheets, full reports, chartbooks, and interactive data websites.

Journal Articles – Articles in peer-reviewed journals may require a subscription or affiliation with a subscribing library. For these publications, Gateway lists the article citation, a brief summary, a link to additional information and access to the full-text of the article, if available.











  • Meaningful Use of Health Information Technology by Rural Hospitals
    Date: 01/2011
    This study examines the current status of meaningful use of health information technology in Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and other rural and urban U.S. hospitals, and it discusses the potential role of Medicare payment incentives and disincentives in encouraging CAHs and other rural hospitals to achieve meaningful use.



  • Implementing Patient Safety Initiatives in Rural Hospitals
    Date: 09/2009
    This article describes the Tennessee Rural Hospital Patient Safety Demonstration project, whose goal was to strengthen capacity for patient safety initiatives in eight small Tennessee rural hospitals using a multi-organizational collaborative model. The demonstration identified and facilitated implementation of three patient safety interventions.




  • The Current Status of Health Information Technology Use in CAHs
    Date: 05/2006
    The purpose of this briefing paper is to assess the current status of health information technology use in critical access hospitals nationally.
  • A Review of State Flex Program Plans, 2004-2005
    Date: 03/2006
    This paper examines the objectives and project activities proposed by states in their Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Flex Program) grant applications for Fiscal Year 2004 to strengthen the rural healthcare infrastructure in their states. It highlights recent trends in state Flex Program planning, development, and implementation.
  • CAH Participation in Hospital Compare and Initial Results
    Date: 02/2006
    This paper examines the participation of critical access hospitals (CAHs) in public reporting of quality measures in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Hospital Compare database. It presents the initial results for CAHs and comparisons with other hospital groups on quality measures for various conditions.


  • Is Large Really Beautiful? Physician Practice in Small versus Large Scale Communities
    Date: 09/2005
    This paper examines the effect of community size on how physicians view their practices as reported by respondents to two waves (1996-97 and 1998-99) of a national sample survey conducted as part of the Community Tracking Study. Results suggest that bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to physicians' perceptions of their practices.
  • The Availability and Use of Capital by Critical Access Hospitals
    Date: 03/2005
    This paper examines the experiences of critical access hospitals (CAHs) in meeting their capital needs. It focuses on their efforts to obtain capital, the capital sources tapped through these efforts and how CAHs have used the capital they have been able to obtain over the last few years and assesses their current capital needs.
  • Providing Hospice Care in Rural Areas: Challenges and Strategies to Address Them
    Date: 2005

    Hospices in rural settings face challenges in the provision of hospice care as a result of their location and the size of their service area population. To ascertain the challenges that hospices face in serving rural communities, researchers conducted in-depth case studies of four different models of hospice care in rural areas. The authors describe strategies used by the case study hospices and recommend policies that could increase access to hospice care for rural Medicare beneficiaries and other rural residents. National initiatives to improve end-of-life care need to consider the special challenges faced by rural hospices.



  • Grantee Sustainability in the Rural Health Outreach Grant Program
    Date: 12/2003
    This paper describes a study of the post-grant experiences of 99 Rural Health Outreach Grant recipients and focuses on the extent to which programs were able to maintain or expand services after their grants ended and characteristics that helped programs succeed in the post-grant period.
  • Are There Geographic Disparities in Out-of-Pocket Spending by Medicare Beneficiaries?
    Date: 10/2003
    This paper describes a study comparing out-of-pocket spending among rural and urban Medicare recipients. It includes data on differences based on supplemental insurance coverage.
  • The Response of Local Health Care Systems in the Rural Midwest to a Growing Latino Population
    Date: 08/2003
    This paper reports on the case studies of rural communities in Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska, documenting successful strategies that could be adopted by other communities facing challenges to their rural healthcare system in meeting the needs of a growing Latino population.
  • Rural Health Networks: Evolving Organizational Forms and Functions
    Date: 06/2003
    This report discusses results of a survey of rural health networks. It includes information about the location, membership, relationships, governance, management, process, and products of rural health networks.
  • Environmental Context of Patient Safety and Medical Errors
    Date: 03/2003
    This paper explores the environmental context of patient safety/medical errors with specific interest in rural areas. It reviews patient safety/medical error literature, identifies features of rural healthcare organizations and their environment relating to patient safety issues/medical errors, and discusses error reduction/prevention strategies.
  • Rural Hospitals: New Millennium and New Challenges
    Date: 02/2003
    This report discusses the changes in rural hospitals that took place in the decade of the 1990s and discusses some of the challenges that face rural hospitals in 2003. It includes discussion of rural hospitals' organizational structures, health service provision, payment/reimbursement, and financial performance.
  • The Financial Effects of Critical Access Hospital Conversion
    Date: 01/2003
    This paper describes how the first wave of conversions to critical access hospital status affected rural hospitals' financial performances and organizational structures.
  • Rate of Return on Capital Investments at Small Rural Hospitals
    Date: 01/2003
    This paper examines whether the aging of rural facilities is due to a lower rate of return on capital investment at these hospitals. This paper also investigates whether membership in a hospital system improves access to capital and results in the updating of buildings and equipment.