Colorado Rural Health Center’s CEO to Speak at IHI’s International Summit on “The Care Continuum” and Improving Communications and Readmissions in Rural Hospitals

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The IHI International Summit is a three-day event bringing together more than 1,000 revolutionary thinkers and front-line practitioners from around the globe to explore cutting-edge improvements for office practices, outpatient settings, and communities.

I am excited about the opportunity to share insights and Colorado best practices for improving communication and readmissions

The Colorado Rural Health Center (CRHC) announced today that Michelle Mills, its CEO, will speak at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) 15th Annual International Summit on Improving Patient Care held March 10-11, 2014 in National Harbor, Maryland. Mills, a recognized leader in rural healthcare, is among the senior-level executives of leading healthcare organizations invited to participate in “The Care Continuum” panel during the general conference on March 10th. “I am excited about the opportunity to share insights and Colorado best practices for improving communication and readmissions,” says Mills.

Mills will discuss CRHC’s Improving Communications and Readmissions (iCARE) program, which holds great promise for improving Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) avoidable readmission rates. “As the hub of healthcare in their rural communities, CAHs are well-positioned to be leaders in facilitating improvements to enhance care transitions into and out of their facilities,” added Mills. “Despite the challenges associated with their unique location and limited resources, Colorado CAHs and rural clinics have been able to provide high quality care with fewer resources than their urban counterparts.”

The readmission rates for the CAHs participating in the program have averaged around 5 percent for the last ten months. Additionally, the program saw success with data collection processes at rural clinics increasing from 50 percent to 83 percent in the last nine months. The iCARE program currently consists of 15 CAHs and 12 rural clinics throughout rural Colorado.

The iCARE program provides technical assistance to participating hospitals and clinics. CRHC has also partnered with the Southeastern Colorado Area Health Education Center (SECAHEC) to provide additional iCARE services to participating clinics.    

“We are very proud of the success of the iCARE program in Colorado,” says Mills. “In fact, our iCARE storyboard was also accepted by IHI to be displayed at their National Forum on Quality Improvement in Healthcare this December.”

For more information about the 15th Annual International Summit on Improving Patient Care, visit, or visit to learn about the 25th Annual National Forum on Quality Improvement in Healthcare.

About The Colorado Rural Health Center
The Colorado Rural Health Center was established in 1991 as Colorado's State Office of Rural Health. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, CRHC's serves dual roles as the State Office of Rural Health with the mission of assisting rural communities in addressing health care issues; and as the State Rural Health Association, advocating for policy change to ensure that rural Coloradoans have access to comprehensive, affordable health care services of the highest quality. For more information visit, call 303-832-7493, or call toll free 800-851-6782 from rural Colorado.

About The Institute for Healthcare Improvement
IHI is a leading innovator in health and health care improvement worldwide. For more than 25 years, we have partnered with an ever-growing community of visionaries, leaders, and front-line practitioners around the globe to spark bold, inventive ways to improve the health of individuals and populations. Together, we build the will for change, seek out innovative models of care, and spread proven best practices. When it comes to raising the quality of health for all, IHI sees boundless possibilities and while we see the walls in front of us, we will not rest until we reach the other side. Learn more at

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