Opinion

Affiliation makes healthcare better for all

As most readers know, Harrison Medical Center is now officially a part of Franciscan Health System. This is a big change for our organization. But, it’s necessary and it will have many benefits for our community.

Healthcare is changing. For an independent community medical center, these changes will be costly. In Washington state and around the country, other healthcare organizations are seeking affiliations to help find efficiencies of scale and improve patient care by sharing resources.

Our board of directors asked the question “Could an affiliation strengthen our mission?”

For the near future, Harrison could have remained an independent organization. However, with the changes coming through the Affordable Care Act, we saw the need to join a larger system. I believe we have found the best possible partner in Franciscan Health System, a 122-year old healthcare system with hospitals, clinics and services throughout King, Pierce and South Kitsap counties.

Many have asked me, “Why Franciscan?”

Because Franciscan shares our beliefs and values about how healthcare organizations should promote healthier communities. Their mission compliments ours — to make a positive difference in people’s lives by providing exceptional healthcare to those we serve.

Franciscan was also willing to allow Harrison to remain who we are — a non-religious, nonprofit community medical center. As such, the same services you’ve received at our clinics and hospitals in the past are available now and will be in the future.

In addition, our affiliation with Franciscan allows us to enhance your healthcare experience. In the months and years ahead, you will see the following:

*A shared electronic medical record - Harrison will migrate to the gold standard in electronic record systems, helping us to improve safety and efficiency. Plus, you’ll enjoy the convenience of a personal online portal to interact with your doctor, receive test results, and request appointments.

*Thoughtful growth, Harrison will continue to expand with the philosophy of bringing healthcare closer to home for you and your loved ones.

*Improved access to care, by working with our partners at Franciscan, we can collaborate further to bring the best care to our patients.

I hope you’ll join us at the grand opening celebration of The Orthopaedic Center at Harrison, located on our Silverdale campus, on Sept. 13, from 2 to 5 p.m. This new center’s excellent doctors and nurses will provide you with state-of-the-art joint replacements, sports injury repairs, and advanced orthopaedic care, all in our own community.

While underway before our affiliation, The Orthopaedic Center is an example of how, by joining together, we will be able to continue to expand throughout the West Sound and provide you with the latest healthcare technology and services alongside a compassionate patient experience.

We have announced that in fall of 2014 Harrison will expand our services to Bainbridge Island. Plans are underway to build a new, state-of-the-art facility near the intersection of Madison Avenue at the Highway 305 interchange. We hope to break ground later this fall.

Along with bringing 24/7 urgent care close to home, our vision is to provide a convenient hub on the island to meet your healthcare needs.

In South Kitsap, both Franciscan and Harrison provide urgent care, primary care and an array of specialty care. We will collaborate to explore how to improve our services to you as well and how we can better meet you and your family’s health needs.

The Harrison board and I recognize that this is a significant new chapter in our history. We have a proud legacy and we are grateful for the support of our community.

I sincerely believe that our affiliation with Franciscan will make us a better organization to care for you and your loved ones, now and for generations to come. Over time, Harrison and Franciscan will be better together, and I hope you will agree.

 

 

Scott Bosch is the President and CEO of Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton and Silverdale.

 

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