Olympic Medical Center posts gains in its first quarter

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Olympic Medical Center posted modest gains in the first quarter of 2013, at a time when the public hospital district was spending money and manpower for the May 4 launch of a new electronic record-keeping system.

OMC last quarter had $34.4 million in operating revenue, $33.8 million in expenses and $659,000 in income.

“The income statement was positive, so from that perspective it was a good quarter,” said Julie Rukstad, OMC chief financial officer, in Wednesday night’s commissioners meeting.

“Most of it was driven by volume.”

Combined inpatient and outpatient visits were up 7 percent in January, February and March compared with the first quarter of 2012.

The 12,569 to 13,386 variance in adjusted patient days was driven by more oncology procedures and Olympic Medical Physicians clinic visits.

Rukstad predicted a “pretty rough second quarter” because of the installation of Epic electronic health records.

“We’re expecting a decrease in revenue as we do our implementation and an increase in expenses,” Rukstad told the board.

‘Dress rehearsals’

Deby King, Epic implementation manager, reported that OMC is making technical preparations for the May 4 launch and doing “dress rehearsals,” or workflow scenarios that follow a patient from unit to unit on the Epic system.

OMC this month is converting data from its old systems to Epic. The hospital district’s 1,100 employees are in the midst of training.

“A lot is happening getting ready for this [May 4] date,” King said.

OMC expects to recoup the $7.6 million it spent on Epic through federal financial incentives for hospitals that achieve a “meaningful use” of a certified electronic health record system by July.

An additional $1.5 million was spent on the conversion, and commissioners last month approved a maximum of $850,000 for temporary workers to relieve permanent staff as they train on Epic.

“Epic is really all-consuming right now across the organization,” said Eric Lewis, OMC chief executive officer.

“This is the hardest, biggest project I’ve ever had in my career, and our medical staff and employees are really stepping up in a big way to make this success,” Lewis added.

The new system will consolidate a patient’s medical charts and make the information available to more providers in real time.

Epic also is used by OMC’s Seattle-based affiliate, Swedish Medical Center, and most hospitals in Western Washington.

Online access

Patients will be able to access their medical records through a secure online portal.

Providence Health & Services, a Swedish partner, is helping OMC, Jefferson Healthcare and several other Northwest hospitals convert to Epic this year.

“It’s really coming together, but it’s a sprint to the finish,” Lewis said.

“The last 16 days is going to be an incredible amount of work for everybody.”

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: April 20. 2013 5:37PM
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