Growth combined with the desire to create a better patient experience through coordinated care is driving the need for additional space on the Pullman Regional Hospital campus. These dynamics and new ones we will face in the future require us to expand our thinking and apply the convenience we experience in other parts of our lives to our healthcare experience. We can achieve this not only for today but also for generations to come. That's why we are looking ahead towards The Next Era of Excellence at Pullman Regional Hospital.
Growth in our community continues at a steady rate. The City of Pullman has predicted about 6 percent growth by 2025. This growth will put more pressure on our healthcare system and demand for medical services. At the same time, outpatient visits at Pullman Regional Hospital have steadily climbed by 21 percent over the last five years and they are forecasted to grow by another 23 percent over the next seven years. Additionally, there is continued demand for family medicine physicians and specialty care. Click here to download the Executive Summary from the community growth report from Emsi.
Along with the growth of Pullman Regional Hospital, the dynamics of healthcare are constantly changing. It is no longer enough to have an excellent hospital. Coordinated care or "one-stop care" in which facilities, technology, and medical providers are all co-located by the hospital under one roof is the new model of care we aspire to provide. One-stop care is synonymous with quality care and convenience.
We believe care can be delivered in a better way - in a coordinated, efficient, and convenient manner for the patient. By housing as many medical services in one location, patients receive an improved experience, with the convenience of services being co-located right next to their physician, caregivers consulting on-site in close proximity, and centralized scheduling.
You call one person to set up all your medical appointments for one time and in one place. You are assigned a care coordinator who greets you and helps you navigate through your appointments and follow-ups. You may drop off your children at an on-site childcare center. You see your primary care provider or specialist here at the hospital and receive any diagnostic or preventive services in the same location. You speak to a financial counselor to understand what your charges and out-of-pocket costs will be before you get the bill. You may discuss your care options with your care coordinator. Your physician may consult with other physicians in the same building at the same time to discuss your case, and your care coordinator gets back to you with a proposed care plan.
The Mayo Clinic and cancer centers have been successfully operating under this model for some time and have seen the value of physicians, specialty and hospital care under one roof on one campus.
A key feature of the Next Era of Excellence is a community-wide electronic medical record that connects medical offices and hospitals in the region and even the state of Washington. Imagine not having to fill out another form at another facility because they already have your information. The community survey administered by Pullman Regional Hospital this summer shows that hospitals and clinics being on different computer systems is a patient's most frustrating part of the healthcare experience. Pullman Regional Hospital is evaluating systems that provide this seamless, electronic medical record capability. Funding for this component is estimated to be $8 to $10 million. This includes acquisition of the software system, implementation, and ongoing support, along with converting physician offices to the same system as the hospital. With the proposed funding in place, our estimated timeline for purchase is 2019 and implementation and conversion in 2020.
To keep pace with the growth in our community, we are proposing to construct a new 45,000 square foot building called a pavilion, adjacent to the hospital. This would allow us to achieve a vision of one-stop care where healthcare professionals can work more closely and collaboratively than ever before and patients could get a variety of services for themselves and their families all in one place in a time-efficient manner.
Potential services housed in the pavilion could include:
- A Center for Women's & Children's Health for centralized and convenient services all under one roof and on one campus
- Expanded diagnostic and therapeutic services
- Physician offices and clinics
- A new medical residency program to build a pipeline of physicians for the region
- Updated and additional medical equipment located close to or in physician offices
- Room for care coordinators and navigators who can guide and make appointments for the patient
- Expanded fitness and wellness services
- A system-wide electronic medical record, an essential technology to provide a coordinated experience for patients that allows physicians to view all the patient's medical history
- Medical Simulation Training Center to keep our clinicians' skills up to date.
A key part of the Next Era of Excellence is ensuring Family Medicine physicians will be here for patients in the future. Pullman Regional Hospital is committed to developing a Rural Training Track Residency Program focused on building a pipeline of Family Medicine physicians to serve the area. By working with potential partners like Washington State University, Spokane Teaching Health Center, and Providence Health & Services in Spokane, we can ensure that generations of Palouse area residents will have access to primary care physicians.
Physician residents are more likely to practice as a physician where they performed their residency so it is an important strategic effort in recruiting primary care providers for the future. A residency is additional training that follows graduation from medical school. Pullman Regional Hospital’s Rural Training Track residency in Family Medicine would be three years long, with the first year likely to be in Spokane and second and third years in Pullman.
Partnerships are an integral part of our strategy as move to the Next Era of Excellence. This includes our partnership with Washington State University. Partners in Excellence is an enhanced partnership that brings together the resources of the hospital and a leading research university with a medical school to improve community health, train future healthcare providers, and utilize innovative solutions to prepare our community for a healthier future.
Specific areas of collaboration include:
- Health & Wellness Support and Education
- Clinical Affiliation Agreements/Workforce Training
- Human Resources/Employee Recruitment & Retention
- Advancement through Community and Alumni Engagement
- Innovative Health Solutions
Learn more about our partnership goals by visiting Partners in Excellence.
Components of the Next Era of Excellence include:
- Constructing a new 45,000 square foot health pavilion
- Enhancing electronic medical record technology
- Remodeling current hospital space
- Updating medical equipment
Our plan is to propose up to $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.
We are preparing to place a bond measure on the April 2019 ballot to support this project. A 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.
We are experienced in providing and coordinating care. This makes us uniquely qualified to develop, implement, and support the medical and technical education and training needed for a new model of care. You can trust us to take care of what we know and do well.
The community - you - have the ability to make it possible to build the Health Pavilion and technical infrastructure to make this a reality - so that you receive the best care right here in Pullman. This exceptional partnership makes The Next Era of Excellence possible.
Learn more about the Next Era of Excellence with some of our frequently asked questions.
We are exploring the possibility of placing the measure on the city ballot for a vote in spring 2019.
The boundaries are the city of Pullman. Those residing in Pullman city limits will be eligible to vote on the bond levy.
The total project cost is estimated to be $40 million. We plan to fund this through a combination of community support (bond levy), philanthropy, and hospital reserves.
We have not determined this yet but are currently evaluating a proposed levy rate for the project. In 2001 when the community approved an $8.2 million bond to help finance building a new hospital, the levy rate was approximately 99 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. Today, that levy rate is approximately 33 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value.
If funding is approved and generous philanthropic support from the community is attained, the plan is to break ground on the new project in 2020 with a goal to be completed in 2021.
Pullman resident and City Councilwoman
The Next Era of Excellence and one-stop care is a forward-thinking idea whose time has come as we experience growth and continuing need for healthcare in Pullman. A key part of this is moving to an integrated electronic medical record that would allow hospitals and physician offices to have all the same patient information.
Dr. Gerald Early
Chief Medical Officer, Pullman Regional Hospital
The Next Era of Excellence includes continuing to ensure physicians are here to serve the Palouse today and for future generations. We are working with area partners and hospitals to build a medical residency program in Family Medicine.
Dr. Ed Tingstad
Coordinated care means a comprehensive and convenient experience for the patient. Our orthopedic and sport medicine patients could have a pre-operative teaching and instructional experience in a single visit.
Dr. Ric Minudri
If a pavilion was built, we could envision moving our Pullman office there to provide OB/GYN services as part of a women’s center that was co-located by the hospital for improved access to women’s healthcare such as, mammography, imaging, BirthPlace and surgical care.