We apologize for the delay, says Hospital District

Editorial by Elaine Komusi, outgoing superintendent

In November, the Point Roberts Public Hospital District launched a Community Survey intended to gather valuable information about patient experiences at the Point Roberts Clinic and suggestions for how to improve the services and better meet the unique medical needs of the community.

There have been some unforeseeable delays in producing the executive summary report of that survey due to the many recent changes and subsequent work required related to those changes:

• Extending the deadline for the survey by one month to gather as much community response as possible

• Resignation of long-standing superintendent

• Advertising, interviewing, hiring and training the new superintendent

• Resignation of a long-standing commissioner

• Activities involved in appointing and training a replacement commissioner

Each of those things are impactful and time-consuming tasks when the commissioners meet once a month and the superintendent works eight hours per week.

We sincerely apologize for the delay in sharing survey results but want to assure the public that it is our intention to do so.

We conducted the survey with the intention of gathering information, drawing conclusions, sharing and partnering with Unity Care to make change where it was necessary and sensible.

As well, we designed the survey to gather comments rather than to use a rating scale for each question. While this makes it more difficult to analyze the information, this was done purposely to get much needed opinions from the community.

Generally, most businesses shy away from sharing the detailed comments from customer satisfaction surveys with individuals and staff. Survey respondents are honest and speak frankly about their good and bad experiences and those are best shared in a respectful, private employer setting. For that reason, normal business practice is to analyze the information, create trend reports and make recommendations. Those summary reports and recommendations are shared with the wider groups.

However, I would like to advise the community that we have received a public records request from a community member who has requested the ‘raw data’ of the survey. Unfortunately, by law, we have to comply with this request.

We were able to remove names and phone numbers from the report, but otherwise, we need to provide this information to this community member as requested.

The commissioners, the incoming and outgoing superintendents, as well as Unity Care believe that the public had an expectation of privacy when completing the survey. For that, we apologize for not being clear on the survey form that the information gathered would be subject to Public Records laws.

We are unsure what the individual who requested the data intends to do with the information.

We want to assure the public that while many records of the hospital district are subject to public disclosure, any records related to healthcare, including but not limited to the clinic records and personal information are not subject to public disclosure. Your privacy is protected by law.

Over the next two months, we will share the executive summary report to the community along with next steps and actions.

If you’d like to know more, please join us at our monthly meetings which are generally at 7 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month at the community center.

Thank you to all those who filled out the survey! We value your comments.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to superintendent@prphd.org

Elaine Komusi, outgoing

superintendent

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