Community Record of Care for Accountable Communities of Health

May 08, 2015

Skagit Health Information Exchange Wins Federal Grant


Written by Duncan West


Mount Vernon, WA - Over the next three years Medical Information Network – North Sound (MIN-NS) will be using a nearly $1 million federal grant to connect rural medical providers in the North Sound. The grant has $300,000 available from May 2014 through April 2015 and can be extended at $285,000 each of the next two years.

The grant supports MIN-NS’ efforts to enrich the existing Health Information Exchange with integrated telehealth; and certified, secure e-mail. MIN-NS will also have funds to integrate the electronic medical records of independent rural providers in Skagit, Island, San Juan and Whatcom counties. The grant focus is on providers of care for patients in rural areas.

Mark Quenneville, Executive Director of MIN-NS noted, “This grant is federal recognition of the work MIN-NS and our sponsors have accomplished in the care community and builds upon our successes to extend the network to do more for all the residents of our medical service area.”

MIN-NS electronically connects the health care providers of the North Sound. MIN-NS supplies a community health record, populated with electronic summary records of care, securely accessible wherever patients need care: clinics, hospitals, Emergency Rooms, or Skilled Nursing Facilities. As a non-profit, community organization, MIN-NS goal is to improve the quality and reduce the cost of medical care by securely providing immediate access to care records.

Skagit Public Hospital District 2, Island Hospital in Anacortes, is the official grant applicant and recipient. The grant, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), is one of only 15 Rural Health Network Development Program grants issued nationwide this year. This award follows a successful planning grant from the same agency issued to Island Hospital and MIN-NS several years ago.

Vince Oliver, Chief Executive Officer of Island Hospital, expressed pleasure at receiving the grant, stating, “Island Hospital and our staff provide a cornerstone of care for patients in our district as well as those to the West and South of us. This grant will allow us to better connect with providers in outlying areas, as well as with providers of care for our patients when they must go off-island for care on the I-5 corridor.”

West Skagit County, North Whidbey Island, and residents of the San Juan Islands have relied on Island Hospital for their healthcare needs since 1962.  Staffed by nearly 200 physicians and healthcare providers, Island Hospital’s quality and range of services belies its size.  With 43 beds, Island is the state’s smallest hospital providing Level III Trauma Care.  Other services include cancer care, diagnostic imaging, in- and outpatient surgery, birth center, acute/critical care, respiratory care, home healthcare, sleep wellness, wound care and more.  For more information about Island Hospital visit www.islandhospital.org; or contact Dennis Richards, Director of Community Relations, (360) 299-1310, drichards@islandhospital.org.

Medical Information Network – North Sound is a 501(c)3, non-profit organization dedicated to connecting the care community of Skagit, Island, San Juan and Whatcom counties. Incorporated in 2009, MIN-NS is supported by the public hospital districts operating Skagit Valley Hospital and Island Hospital. MIN-NS offers a single connection point for secure, electronic access to patient medical records. The service is used by a broad spectrum of providers from Emergency Departments to Skilled Nursing Facilities. The MIN-NS Health Information Exchange improves transitions of patient care by making records of past care available to the entire care team. For more information about MIN-NS visit www.min-ns.org; or contact Duncan West, Director, Business Development, (360) 982-2415, duncanw@min-ns.org.

An abstract of the grant application can be found here.