Rural Wisconsin Chronic Disease Toolkit

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About the Rural Wisconsin Chronic Disease Toolkit

This toolkit was developed by the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ) and the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative (RWHC) to provide healthcare organizations providing primary care to rural populations with an up-to-date compendium of rurally relevant best practices that have been shown to be effective in improving chronic disease outcomes.

The project’s initial focus is to reduce the percentage of the participant population’s diabetic patients with Hemoglobin A1C Poor Control (National Quality Forum measure 0059), and to increase the percentage of the population’s hypertensive patients with adequately controlled blood pressure (NQF 0018). These quality measure improvements are eventually expected to lead to reduced costs through decreased target population ED visits and inpatient admissions. 

What does the toolkit contain?

This toolkit contains several evidence-based strategies that healthcare provider organizations can use to improve chronic disease management in rural populations.

The toolkit also provides a variety of resources – e.g., guidelines, workflows, protocols, templates, videos, web links – to support implementing the improvement strategies.

Who should use this toolkit?

This toolkit is designed for administrators, clinicians, and staff within healthcare provider organizations serving rural populations who are seeking strategies and tools to improve chronic disease care control among their patients. Depending on various factors—differences in size, demographics, internal processes, etc.—healthcare organizations may find some tools more useful than others. We intend to update this toolkit over time with additional resources as they become available.

The toolkit may also interest others – e.g., researchers, payers – involved with quality improvement activities for chronic disease care in rural populations. 

Toolkit development and funding

The Rural Wisconsin Chronic Disease Toolkit was developed as part of the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative (RWHC) Primary Care Improvement Project, which is a HRSA Network Development Grant-funded collaboration between RWHC, participating RWHC member hospitals, the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ), and other partner organizations. The RWHC Primary Care Improvement Project’s overarching goal is to develop and implement a network approach to improving quality associated with diabetes and hypertensive disease care in rural primary care settings. 

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number D06RH27788 through the Rural Health Network Development Program for $299,989. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

Please send questions, comments and suggestions to

Toolkit Citation

Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality. “Rural Wisconsin Chronic Disease Toolkit.” Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality; 2018. Available at:

About the Developer

WCHQ logo
The Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ) is a voluntary, non-profit consortium of organizations committed to using the public reporting of comparative measures of performance to catalyze improvements in the quality and affordability of healthcare in our state, and the health status of individuals and communities. 

WCHQ designs and facilitates collaborative learning activities to promote the sharing of “best practices” among healthcare provider organizations in an effort to elevate and accelerate improvement across Wisconsin.