By Elaine Komusi
We are very pleased to provide you with an update and some great facts from the Point Roberts Clinic, Interfaith Community Health Center and the Point Roberts Public Hospital District.
We are excited to report that the Point Roberts Clinic has seen a 9 percent increase in visits so far in 2015. In the last year, the clinic has provided 1,193 visits, 559 of them being same-day access.
Although pre-scheduled appointments take priority over non-urgent needs, the clinic has been able to accommodate same day access nearly 47 percent of the time. When not urgent and same day access is not available, our clinic staff makes every effort to get patient appointments in the same week.
If you need help after hours, we also offer a nurse advice line staffed by University of Washington registered nurses at 800/607-5501. Additionally, Natalié Davidson, your Point Roberts nurse practitioner, has been known to come in occasionally on evenings and weekends to take care of urgent issues when she is available.
The clinic works hard to improve the lives of those in the Point Roberts community. Access to services and quality care is important. In addition to increased visits, the clinic has improved measures of quality of care for diabetics, those with high blood pressure and preventative services such as adult vaccine rates and cancer-screening measures.
Forty-two percent of the funding for the Point Robert clinic is generated by the hospital district’s share of property tax revenues; the remainder comes from insurance payments and direct payments by patients. The clinic has three major
1. To serve Point Roberts residents who wish to seek all of their primary care at the clinic.
2. To provide some ancillary services such as lab work and limited pharmacy services which can avoid the need to travel to Bellingham.
3. To provide urgent care for Point Roberts residents who obtain their primary care elsewhere but need a local resource for urgent issues that arise.
If your primary care provider is not the Point Roberts clinic, we encourage you to seek regular and follow-up care for on going issues from that primary care provider and not the Point Roberts clinic.
Quality and effective care are hampered for on going or chronic health conditions if care is fragmented and managed between multiple providers.
For those who have chosen another primary care provider, you should use your Point Roberts clinic for urgent or acute health issues that arise unrelated to
ongoing condition management. This includes things like illness (sore throats, flu, colds); new injuries (lacerations, falls, sprains, strains); new pain, etc.
The Point Roberts clinic is operated by Interfaith Community Health Center. In addition to clinic services, they assist patients applying for insurance. This has resulted in a decrease of uninsured visits at the clinic from 13 percent in 2013 to 5 percent so far in 2015.
Recently, the clinic participated in our local open house and health fair bringing up a dental treatment bus and taking care of 10 residents with significant dental needs. One of Interfaith’s registered nurses from the Bellingham clinic came with a retinal eye camera to do eye exams for diabetics. It was so well received that the clinic plans to schedule another date within the next six months to offer these services.
Additionally, staff is working on a tele-medicine program to offer regular behavioral health services. The partnership between Interfaith Community Health Center and the Point Roberts Hospital District continues to grow stronger resulting in the ability to better meet the needs of the community and you.
You can contact the clinic by calling 360/945-2580.