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The Next Era of Excellence in Healthcare

Pullman Regional Hospital is committed to providing excellence to our patients.  We have been building on excellence for the last 25 years and are striving to move to The Next Era of Excellence to ensure convenience, access, and quality care to patients and the community. Growth and lack of space to house physicians is driving the need for an addition to the hospital.  Furthermore, to achieve coordinated patient care, a community-wide electronic medical record is needed.  This, along with ever changing dynamics in healthcare, keep the need for community support of Pullman Regional Hospital real today and tomorrow.  We can achieve the Next Era of Excellence for generations to come with the help of the community we serve. 

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The Need for Additional Space on our Hospital Campus

Pullman is continuing to grow and so is the demand for healthcare services.  One area of particular need for Pullman Regional Hospital is space to house physician specialists who we want to recruit to the area and a planned family medicine residency program to train the next generation of primary care physicians. Want to learn more about growth in Pullman? Download the Emsi Community Growth Report Executive Summary.

Bringing Specialty Medical Services to Pullman - Currently, we do not have space to house specialists like neurology and oncology, two services that are now located in Moscow due to our space constraints.  There are many other specialists we want to bring to Pullman but the challenge remains the same -- lack of space.

Building a Pipeline of Family Medicine Physicians on the Palouse - We are also working on establishing a Family Medicine Residency program that needs space for residents, teaching physicians, and patient exam rooms for training, as required by the American College of Graduate Medicine Education (ACGME).

The Next Era of Excellence addresses the shortage of space Pullman Regional Hospital is experiencing by adding a proposed 45,000 square foot facility on the northwest section of the hospital, next to Palouse Medical. 

PRH_Image4rHR

 

Proposed new services to be housed in the three story addition: 

  • Potential Physician specialties to increase access include Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Psychiatry, General Surgery, OB/GYN, Ophthalmology, Otolaryngology, Allery, Dermatology, Physical Medicine, Rheumatology, Endocrinology, Nephrology
  • Family medicine residency program.
  • Center for Women’s & Children’s Health, including diagnostics, adult day health, drop-off childcare.
  • Care coordination.

Parking Plans:

We will increase parking availability from 527 parking stalls to 582 stalls. We recently designated staff parking to the southeast part of campus to free up spaces for patients. On average there are 97 vacant spaces every weekday, and valet service and shuttle service options are being considered to help with future parking frustration.

Here's what parking would look like with the addition:

PRH PARKING DIAGRAM 8-6-19

A Community-Wide Electronic Medical Record System

Another key component of The Next Era of Excellence is connecting physician offices and hospitals across the state with a community wide electronic medical record.  Pullman Regional Hospital has chosen the EPIC system for its medical record platform, which is used by more than 50 percent of the hospitals in Washington state.  Our current system is outdated and not widely used.  A community-wide electronic medical record is estimated to be $8 to $10 million. A big part of that cost includes converting medical offices to EPIC to achieve the connectivity that allows a patient’s medical record to be accessed by providers and hospitals..  For the patient, this means no more filling out repetitive forms because your updated, comprehensive medical record can be accessed by the majority of providers in the area and throughout the state of Washington. It also means better, more coordinated care.

In a recent episode of The Pullman Civic Scoop Podcast, members of the Pullman Regional Hospital Board of Commissioners address topics such as the Community-Wide Electronic Medical Record and hospital addition. Click here to listen to the podcast.

 

Funding for the Next Era of Excellence

Pullman Regional Hospital's average yearly margin is between 1-2%, or $1.5 million. This margin is reinvested in staffing, technology, and facilities. However, it is not enough to ensure continued access to primary care and specialty medicine. The Next Era Of Excellence bond levy would provide the additional funds necessary.  Our plan includes a $29 million community bond to be paid for by residents of the hospital district over 25 years and approximately $11 million through philanthropy and hospital funds. This partnership between Pullman Regional Hospital and the community will allow us to bring both the hospital’s expertise and the community’s capabilities together to create a new reality for healthcare on the Palouse. The proposed tax levy is estimated to be .99 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value of your home as a resident of the Pullman Regional Hospital district.

In a recent episode of The Pullman Civic Scoop Podcast, members of the Pullman Regional Hospital Board of Commissioners address topics such as hospital funding, property tax increases, and the hospital taxing district. Click here to listen to the podcast.

 

What this means on an annual basis:

Tax_Diagram V1-01

 

Assuring that Pullman Regional Hospital  continues to thrive,  will require the support of the community to bring us in to The Next Era of Excellence in which access to specialty care is located in Pullman, medical records are electronically connected, and we continue to provide 5-star quality care. 

 

FAQ

Learn more about the Next Era of Excellence with some of our frequently asked questions or the report to the Board of Commissioners.

What is the status of the current hospital bond?

In 2004, we opened a new state-of-the-art hospital funded by an $8.2 million bond, philanthropy, and bank financing. Since voters passed the 2001 bond for the new hospital, we have worked to be excellent stewards of our public district hospital, including refinancing the original bonds in 2011 – a district taxpayer savings of more than $400,000 over the life of the bond. This bond will be paid off in 2021.

What has the current Era of Excellence provided the community?

Over the last five years, Pullman Regional Hospital has invested approximately $12 million in plant, facilities maintenance, and equipment and has used hospital reserves and philanthropic gifts to add a fourth operating room and build the new Same Day Services addition to keep up with the growing demand for outpatient care.

What new services will be provided through the Next Era of Excellence?

The Next Era of Excellence includes a proposed addition to the hospital to co-locate and better coordinate services and team-based care. Space is needed to create this improved patient experience.  

  • Potential medical specialties to increase access include Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Psychiatry, General Surgery, OB/GYN, Ophthalmology, Otolaryngology, Allery, Dermatology, Physical Medicine, Rheumatology, Endocrinology, Nephrology.
  • Confirmed practices ready to move to new space include Palouse Pediatrics, Pullman OB/GYN, Behavioral Health and Palouse Pulmony & Sleep Medicine)
  • Family medicine residency program.
  • Center for Women’s & Children’s Health, including diagnostics, adult day health, drop-off childcare.
  • Care coordination and telehealth.

Also included as part of the Next Era of Excellence is an upgraded, state-of-the-art, information technology system that is an essential infrastructure to develop a seamless community-wide electronic patient medical record.

What is an electronic medical record and what does it mean to me?

An electronic medical record contains your health information and history.  Hospitals and physician offices use different software systems or paper records that do not “talk to each other.” As such, most times patients must fill out a form when they visit a new provider.  A universal community-wide electronic medical record will serve as a central repository for patient medical records. Physician offices and hospitals in the community would be connected to this repository.  

When will the bond proposal be on the ballot?

The measure will be on the ballot for a vote on November 5, 2019.

What are the boundaries of the hospital district?

The boundaries are the city of Pullman.  Those residing in Pullman city limits will be eligible to vote on the bond levy.

How much will the Next Era of Excellence cost and how will it be funded?

The total project cost is estimated to be $40 million. We plan to fund this through a $29 million bond levy and $11 million through the Foundation and the hospital.

What is the expected levy rate?

Based on the average assessed value of a home in Pullman of $250,000, in 2019 a homeowner will pay taxes of $83.00 per year ($6.92/month) for the original hospital bond from 2001. If the proposed new bond passes, the same homeowner will pay hospital taxes of $250 per year ($20.83/month) beginning in 2020. This is an increase in hospital bond taxes of $167 per year ($13.92/month).

Note:  Pullman homeowners are currently paying an M&O levy tax for Pullman Regional Hospital which will continue once the 2001 bond is retired.

When would the project be complete?

If funding is approved and philanthropic support from the community is attained, the plan is to break ground on the addition in 2021 and expect to be complete in 2022.

What are the plans to bring needed specialty medicine to Pullman Regional Hospital, such as oncology?

We continue to work collaboratively with other rural hospitals in the region to financially support expensive specialty care.  We have been actively working with Gritman Medical Center and Whitman Hospital and Medical Center to bring oncology services to the region.  This fall, a new oncologist will be starting at Palouse Oncology in Moscow, and a new full-time neurologist will be starting practice with Palouse Neurology.  Both of these practices are shared services of the three hospitals.  Additionally, the three hospitals support Palouse Surgeons, Palouse Urology and Palouse ENT/Audiology. We will continue to work together to bring other needed specialists to the area to serve our community in a cost effective manner.

Why are only Pullman residents being asked to fund the proposed bond?

As a public district, non-profit hospital, our current district boundaries are Pullman city limits.  Changes to this would require a community wide effort to redistrict the voting area. Meanwhile, the Pullman Regional Hospital Foundation actively solicits private donations from residents outside the hospital district to support their community hospital.

How will parking be impacted?

As the hospital continues to grow and see more patients,  the challenges of parking grow.  Here are facts on our parking situation and things we are considering as we plan for possible expansion.

  • Currently, the hospital campus has 527 parking stalls and 25 of those stalls are designated as accessible.
  • With the possibility of an addition, we will need a total of 582 stalls, or a minimum of 55 more stalls, with 12 of those designated as accessible. Our current 25 accessible stalls exceed the code minimum of 2 percent.
  • This past spring, we reorganized staff and physician parking which freed up many lots next to Sid’s Pharmacy and Palouse Medical.
  • We have options for building the additional 55 spaces needed but they do not include a parking structure which is cost prohibitive.  We may create more than 55 spaces but it is clear that we’ve already added more patient parking through the recent reorganization of staff and physician parking.  
  • Options we are considering that would help with the parking situation and possible expansion are valet service and shuttle service.
What is the hospital structure?

Pullman Regional Hospital is a public hospital district governed by a seven-member Board of Commissioners, all elected officials. As a non-profit, critical access hospital, we do not get paid 100 percent of the cost of providing our services.  Our margin earned after expenses are paid is reinvested in to the hospital and medical services.

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