Proposition 1, on the ballot Nov. 5, will help build a new $40 million medical office building and will significantly raise Pullman taxes for the next 20 years. It also depends on the “generosity” of the public to build and maintain.
The proposition’s support ads and colorful pamphlet look nice. But they lack substance. The ads are visionary but lack specific cost analysis accuracy. The hospital should publish the cost analysis for this project, with exactly how this money will be spent.
The proposed community-wide electronic medical records system has not been accepted by all the medical offices not owned by the hospital. It is very expensive to switch EMR systems. Often data is lost when a new system is implemented and it takes hours of staff time to transition records. It takes months for users to learn to use a new system and efficiencies often are reduced. It also means many more people have access to your records. There are devices that allow different EMR systems to interface which would serve the same purpose and cost significantly less.
The proposed building is designed to offer increased services but takes away patient parking with no additional parking provided. The current estimate to build a parking structure is an additional $10 million that the hospital says it does not need, and if it does, will depend on the “generosity of the community” to build. There is already a parking shortage. The increase in traffic and loss of parking spaces will only cause increased delays and decrease access to care.
Is is true that the medical residency program needs a place to house the program. Teaching and developing the next generation of doctors increases our chances of recruiting young physicians to our area. We should consider other buildings in our community that can be remodeled for classrooms and offices such as the Shopko building. It has great parking.
I am saddened to hear long-time staff and medical providers are conflicted on the current plan and don’t feel secure they can voice their true feelings about this proposal. I have heard there are incentives to encourage coworkers to contribute financially which seems to me to be a conflict of interest. Staff focus should be providing patient care, not raising money.
Currently there is significant conflict within our medical community because of a lack of respect by administration for our physicians and providers. We have lost a number of very good providers including surgeons, psychiatrists, and primary care providers. As a result, the hospital has lost a lot in revenue. This will continue unless philosophies and relationships within the medical community change. The hospital has bought out several local medical practices. But there are concerns the hospital does not know how to manage the offices and that financially they are in trouble.
As a member of the Pullman medical community for 36 years I want to see our hospital and our community succeed. We are blessed with gifted and caring primary care providers and great specialists. Our nurses at Pullman Regional Hospital are some of the best in health care.
We have incredible emergency room physicians and staff. I think our radiology department is the best in the Northwest. The hospital has been supportive of the Free Clinic which provides care for many of our indigent and uninsured individuals.
There are many wonderful things about our hospital. On the other hand, there are many things that are not readily apparent to the community. We need to make sure the hospital is transparent financially.
Nancy Gregory is nurse practitioner and certified diabetes educator who has worked in internal medicine for 36 years.