PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center featured in American Hospital Association case study for telepsychiatry program

Merry-Ann Keane (left), chief administrative officer of PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center, and Dr. Amanda Focht, psychiatrist and medical director of the Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic at the University of Washington, connect with Kate Penney, PeaceHealth Peace Island's telehealth coordinator, via technology that supports the organization's telepsychiatry program.  Photo courtesy of American Hospital Association; March 2018

March 27, 2018

FRIDAY HARBOR, Washington, – The telepsychiatry program at PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center was recently featured in a case study for the March 2018 publication of the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Members in Action.  

The telepsychiatry program is a service of PeaceHealth Peace Island that offers weekly psychiatric services to residents living in the remote setting of San Juan Island.  A collaboration with the University of Washington Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic, PeaceHealth Peace Island’s primary care clinic and telepsychiatry coordinator, the program provides comprehensive care and improved patient access. “Partnering with a psychiatry department that has a deep bench has been very important in terms of ensuring that providers are available to our patients,” says Merry-Anne Keane, chief administrative officer with PeaceHealth Peace Island.

These services would not otherwise be available on island, forcing residents to endure a long ferry ride to the mainland with additional travel north or south for a scheduled appointment. According to Keane, access to psychiatric services has improved dramatically for San Juan Island residents and appointment wait times reduced from as many as eight months to seven days for an initial appointment.

Since that time, she estimates 200 patients per year seek consultations, with new patient visits comprising most appointments.  “The impact on island residents has been tremendous,” states Keane.

The successful telehealth network began with a four-year grant awarded in 2012.  PeaceHealth Peace Island also provides teleoncology and telegenetics programs.  It hopes to expand services to include telepalliative care and telehospitalist programs in the future.

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About PeaceHealth: Based in Vancouver, Wash., PeaceHealth is a not-for-profit Catholic health system offering care to communities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. In 1890, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace founded what has become PeaceHealth. PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center, a 10-bed Critical Access Hospital in Friday Harbor, serves communities in the San Juan Islands. Key services include general and orthopedic surgery, oncology, behavioral health and primary care.

PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center
1117 Spring St
Friday Harbor, WA 98250
360-378-2141

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Jeremy Rush,
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Phone:   360-729-2212
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