The Western Washington Rural Health Care Collaborative (WWRHCC), a group of 8 CAH hospitals, has received a grant from the USDA-Rural Utilities Service for $248,400.00. The purpose of the grant is to provide the funds to help the “Collaborative” connect to Tele-Specialties via Tele-Radiology, using Tele-Health technologies. The Collaborative is building a Tele-Specialty Cooperative (The Co-Op) to meet our communities’ much needed access to specialty healthcare.
The five members of the WWRHCC involved in this project are Ocean Beach Hospital, Willapa Harbor Hospital, Mark Reed Hospital, Morton General Hospital, Forks Community Hospital. Also included is Garfield County Public Hospital District, Pomeroy, WA a CAH that shares many of the same characteristics of the five WWRHCC hospitals. Currently, many of the WRHCC’s hospitals have a Radiologist part-time, and one not at all. When radiology studies are done, in the absence of a radiologist, reports have to be taken to another facility to be read, increasing the turnaround time for reports back to the primary care physician anywhere from 2 to 3 days.
To make this work, the plan is to build a Teleradiology (Network), which will provide “real time” x-ray interpretations and access to radiologists (who are in short supply). Having the patient’s x-rays transmitted to a site that has a Radiologist present gives the quick reports needed for family practice physicians to plan their care. The Collaborative will use radiologists who contract with WWRHCC members to provide services to those other members who have limited or no coverage; a website will be developed to assist with access to radiologists schedules.
Once the connections have been developed for radiology, the plan is to include other specialty practitioners. The important concept of this project is to allow for “sharing of scarce resources” such as Radiologists, but also the access to specialists for consultations via telecommunications. The ability to provide specialty care in our communities will decrease the inconvenience and costs of traveling to urban areas for care and reduce costs of care while improving the overall quality of care provided. The members of the Collaborative are looking forward to making this project a reality.
Source: WRHA newsletter, February 2006 [pdf]
Mark Reed Health Care District consists of a Critical Access Hospital and a healthcare clinic. Our hospital is unique to our area in that the average waiting time in our 24 hr. Emergency Department is around 15 minutes. We serve the district of East Grays Harbor; however people from the coastal towns and Mason and Thurston counties utilize our facility as well. People like the friendly and efficient care they receive at Mark Reed. They also like that often they can drive here, be treated for non-life threatening emergencies, and back home in less time than they would have waited in line at many other ER’s.
Ocean Beach Hospital & Medical Clinics is an integrated healthcare organization committed to providing high-quality, patient-focused care. Our team of skilled professionals provides a wide range of medical services from emergency care to wellness programs.
Founded in 1934, Ocean Beach has grown into one of the largest employers in South Pacific County. We are a community-owned-and operated hospital with two medical clinics led by an elected board of commissioners. In 2008 the hospital completed an expansion and upgrade of the Nursing Wing, which was the final phase of an extensive 8,400 square foot construction project designed to help meet the needs of our growing coastal community.
Arbor Health, Morton Hospital. This brand new, 25-bed Critical Access Hospital offers area residents and visitors a wide range of health care services ranging from obstetrics to general surgery.
Mason General Hospital and Family Clinics provides exceptional healthcare, as well as 24/7 emergency services. Mason General Hospital and Family Clinics is known throughout Washington as one of the highest rated rural hospitals in the State.
Jefferson Healthcare is a fully integrated health care system that includes the hospital, physicians’ clinics, home health and hospice, outpatient diagnostic services, rehabilitation services, wellness programs, support groups and community education programs.
Forks Community Hospital is a 15-bed acute care inpatient facility and 20-bed long-term care facility serving approximately 11,500 residents of western Clallam and Jefferson counties (the “West End”). The West End is isolated from the rest of the Olympic Peninsula by the vast land holdings of Olympic National Park, Olympic National Forest, and the State of Washington’s Department of Natural Resources.
Willapa Harbor Hospital is a contemporary full service hospital serving the Greater Willapa Bay area in Southwest Washington. Our goal is to provide quality and cost effective healthcare services to residents and visitors of North Pacific County.
WhidbeyHealth Medical Center
Since opening in 1970, WhidbeyHealth Medical Center has grown to meet the needs of the Whidbey Island community, making it a leader in community-based healthcare. We are committed to providing high quality healthcare to the residents and visitors of Whidbey Island through the excellence of our physicians and our hospital, owned and operated by the residents of Whidbey Island. WhidbeyHealth is a Medicare Certified Public District Hospital.