NEW X-RAY PROTOCOL FOR UW MEDICINE ORCAS ISLAND CLINIC
Effective September 17, 2018
The Orcas Island Health Care District’s (OIHCD) focus is to enable access to affordable, high-quality primary and acute health care. As part of their due diligence, the Board went through a process to assess the status of equipment at both island clinics. During that process, it was confirmed that the x-ray machine in the UW Medicine Clinic does not function reliably, does not generate quality images, and needs full replacement. As a result, UW patients could face situations that require they travel off island for x-rays that were historically available at the UW Medicine Clinic site. Recognizing the cost and inconvenience for patients, the OIHCD Board has been working with UW Medicine leadership and Orcas Family Health Center (OFHC) to understand all available options.
Over the course of the past few months, the OIHCD Board gathered data to determine the cost of replacing the current machine. The replacement cost estimates ranged from approximately $60,000 for a used, refurbished machine, to $90, 000 for a new machine. The Board also explored the feasibility of sharing an x-ray machine between the two Clinics. They went through an extensive process to evaluate the x-ray machine at OFHC, including assessments by UW clinical engineering.
After gathering all the facts on quality and cost for the various options, combined with an interest in making best use of island resources, the OIHCD Board recommended implementation of a shared x-ray service between UW Medicine Orcas Island Clinic and OFHC on a trial basis. This means all UW patients needing x-rays will be referred to an external provider, including OFHC as one option. The Board and both Clinics are working together to minimize care disruption and make the new process as easy as possible on patients and providers. The OIHCD Board will continue to work with both Clinics to monitor how things are going to make sure this approach is serving the needs of the community.