MOUNT VERNON – Skagit Regional Health continues to serve as a positive driver of economic development in the region with approval of a $316 million 2016 budget; the addition of new jobs; a major investment in clinical care with a new Electronic Health Record (EHR); and creation of a new Business Services Center.
For the first time, the organization’s budget exceeds the $300 million mark with total operating revenue for 2016 set at $316 million and total operating expense at $310.5 million. The budget anticipates a total operating margin of $6.5 million or 2.04 percent and a total margin of $8.8 million or 2.8 percent for reinvestment in the health care system.
The addition of Cascade Valley Hospital and Clinics to the Skagit Regional Health system on June 1 will boost the organization’s annual operating revenue to $365 million.
Jobs and Electronic Health Record:
In December, 53 new positions were posted for the Information Systems Department to support the planning, implementation and go-live for the new EHR. These new positions add to the 2,013 people employed by Skagit Regional Health (1594.3 Full Time Equivalents) as of the end of December 2015.
The addition of Cascade Valley Hospital and Clinics to the Skagit Regional Health system on June 1 will add more than 450 employees to the organization.
The new EHR from Epic represents a clinical tool to improve system interoperability, connectivity with patients, access to information and data sharing across Skagit Regional Health’s continuum of care, including Skagit Valley Hospital, Skagit Regional Clinics, Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center and Skagit Valley Kidney Center. With the recently approved definitive agreement and state Certificate of Need, the single platform EHR will also extend to Cascade Valley Hospital and Clinics.
The purchase of the EHR involves a strategic investment of approximately $72 million over the next five years. The implementation over the next 18 months will provide a key, best-of-class clinical tool, and a significant economic impact to the community.
Skagit Regional Health anticipates adding 15 to 20 more Information Systems positions in 2016.
In addition, various staff employed by Epic will also be on site throughout the process, spending significant periods of time in the community, requiring lodging and other services.
New Business Services Center:
Skagit Regional Health has leased a former grocery store near 18th Street and College Way in Mount Vernon to serve as the organization’s new Business Services Center and home to more than 220 employees.
The 53,000-square-foot building is currently under renovation and will be complete by July 1, 2016. Departments that will relocate to the building include Finance, Information Systems, Business Office, Quality, Risk, Performance Improvement and Human Resources. The building will also feature state-of-the-art Information Systems training rooms.
The relocation of these employees will free up parking for patients and visitors around the main Skagit Regional Health campus. Skagit Regional Health owns a 14-person shuttle van that will provide transportation for employees to and from the new Business Services Center and remote parking lots to the main campus.
Expanding as an Integrated Health Care Delivery System:
Skagit Regional Health has received a Certificate of Need from the state Department of Health granting approval to enter into a long-term lease of Cascade Valley Hospital and Clinics. State approval gives the green light for the two organizations to complete work on integration details and begin the 30-year lease of Cascade Valley Hospital, five clinics and a free-standing surgery center on June 1, 2016.