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Int J Circumpolar Health. 2011;70(5):460-72. Epub 2011 Oct 26.

Innovations in health service organization and delivery in northern rural and remote regions: a review of the literature.

Author information

1
School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. craig.mitton@ubc.ca

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To identify and review innovations relevant to improving access, quality, efficiency and/or effectiveness in the organization and delivery of health care services in rural and remote areas.

STUDY DESIGN:

Literature review.

METHODS:

Key bibliographic databases that index health research were searched: MEDLINE, EMBASE and CINAHL. Other databases relevant to Arctic health were also accessed. Abstracts were assessed for relevancy and full articles were reviewed and categorized according to emergent themes.

RESULTS:

Many innovations in delivering services to rural and remote areas were identified, particularly in the public health realm. These innovations were grouped into 4 key themes: organizational structure of health services; utilization of telehealth and ehealth; medical transportation; and public health challenges.

CONCLUSIONS:

Despite the challenges facing rural and remote regions, there is a distinctly positive message from this broad literature review. Evidence-based initiatives exist across a range of areas - which include operational efficiency and integration, access to care, organizational structure, public health, continuing education and workforce composition - that have the potential to positively impact health care quality and health-related outcomes.

PMID:
22030009
DOI:
10.3402/ijch.v70i5.17859
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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