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The Commissioners of the Orcas Island Health Care District extend our warm thanks to all of you for participating in the recent survey about healthcare services on Orcas. Your thoughtful responses and comments will help guide us as we finalize contracts with the clinics for the next year and help us set priorities for the future.
Shortly after the District was formed, the Board began discussing how to engage with the Orcas community to make sure that we hear from a larger portion of the community than the few who seek us out individually or attend our meetings. We decided that the best way for us to hear from more of you was through a combination of town hall meetings and short, focused surveys.
The primary focus of the September survey was to learn what kind of acute care services the community wants and test the community’s willingness to pay more in taxes to receive those services. Additionally, we wanted to gauge satisfaction with the medical care currently available on Orcas to help guide our negotiations with the clinics.
The Board asked Madrona Voices to conduct the recent survey because of their experience conducting several surveys on local issues. While prior surveys were done on their own initiative, the collaboration on the health care survey allowed the Board to have some influence over which questions were asked and how questions were phrased. However, because the survey was conducted by Madrona Voices they retained control over how and when the results were presented. They also maintained control of what was made publicly available, including the comments.
We thank all who participated for your candid feedback. The results are timely and will be used to prioritize our interactions with the clinics to improve the services they offer. Both clinics were provided with a copy of the compiled survey responses and comments.
Again, thank you very much for taking the time to complete the survey. We value feedback from the community we serve and appreciate your input.
Board of Commissioners, Orcas Island Health Care District
Please be advised that the Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners scheduled for Tuesday, September 25th, is cancelled.
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.
The OIHCD now has an official District Office. We are located on the second floor of the Windermere building at 18 Haven Road, on the corner of Main and Haven. Please visit the Calendar Tab to see office hours for Superintendent Presson. You can also email her to set up a time to meet.
Please join the Board of Commissioners this Saturday, September 8th, for the first of two Town Hall style meetings. The meeting will be held from 3 – 5 pm at the Orcas Island Fire & Rescue Eastsound Fire Hall. The Board wants to hear from YOU so bring your questions and thoughts about health care services on Orcas Island. The Board will also provide highlights of their activities since May and the focus of various work groups. The second Town Hall meeting will be held on Thursday, September 20th, from 6 – 8 pm.