Rural Quality Award Program

WSHA’s mission is to lead, challenge and assist hospitals to improve the health of their communities. Our rural members often demonstrate exceptional resourcefulness, teamwork and creativity when tackling quality improvement (QI) aims. In effort to recognize rural hospitals demonstrating exceptional dedication to quality, we invite eligible facilities to participate in the WSHA Rural Quality Award Program.

Rural Quality Everyday Extraordinary Award

This award recognizes a rural hospital completing an exceptional quality improvement project. Successful applications should outline a project addressing a significant problem, employ a data-driven approach, consider culture of safety in implementing a solution, and explain what results were achieved. Additionally, they should ideally be scalable for wider adaptation by other rural hospitals. 

This award is given out once a year, but we accept applications year-round. Application instructions are available at the link below:

Qualified submissions will demonstrate successful implementation of strategies that have produced performance improvement related to patient safety. This may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Improving access to care for vulnerable patients (e.g. patients who are pregnant, parenting, geriatric; those who have behavior health or substance use disorders) 
  • Reducing adverse events (e.g. medication errors, falls, pressure ulcers, infections)
  • Addressing root causes of near miss, adverse or sentinel events (e.g. communication, workflow, human factor innovation, reconfiguration of space)
  • Using multidisciplinary teams to implement new strategies for emerging patient health needs (e.g. sepsis response teams, COVID-19, multi-visit patient readmissions)
  • Managing population health across the care continuum (e.g. diabetes, complex case management, COPD)

All rural WSHA member hospitals and health systems are invited to participate. Multiple applications from the same organization are accepted. Applications are due by April 1 of the award year. 

Please contact Megan Herman ( with any questions.

CAH Achievement of Quality Excellence

WSHA provides formal recognition for Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) that demonstrate remarkable dedication to quality through the CAH Achievement of Quality Excellence Program. Hospitals achieving this recognition will receive a plaque honoring their achievement during WSHA’s Annual Rural Hospital Leadership Conference.

To obtain this recognition, CAHs must participate in data submission for the Health Care Authority’s Medicaid Quality Incentive Program, which is managed by WSHA and begins on July 1, yearly. CAHs have always been encouraged to participate in this program although they are not eligible for the financial incentive. Measures and scoring for CAH recognition will be the same as for hospitals qualifying for the financial incentives: total points divided by the number of eligible measures equals points awarded. Hospitals with a score of 5 or more will achieve the recognition.

Measures and scoring have been determined with feedback from both PPS hospitals and CAHs. Detailed measure documents and other information will be available on the Quality Incentive Page.

For any questions about WSHA’s CAH Achievement of Quality Excellence Program, please contact Megan Herman, Assistant Director for Safety and Quality (


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