In an effort to take their services to the next level for their residents, the Emerald Heights retirement community in Redmond has partnered with Kirkland-based EvergreenHealth to provide an onsite Health Service Clinic.
The clinic comes to Emerald Heights twice a week for eight hours a day.
“It’s a full-day clinic,” said Grant Linacre, executive director for Emerald Heights.
He said the clinic is run by an EvergreenHealth nurse practitioner who comes to their campus, along with a medication assistant. Through the clinic, they provide primary care services for Emerald Heights residents.
In addition, Linacre said an EvergreenHealth pharmacist also comes to Emerald Heights for a medication management program and anticoagulant clinic. According to an Emerald Heights press release, the former program’s services include managing drug combinations, weekly pill containers and verbal medication alarms. And with the latter, residents on blood thinners are able to have their weekly test done on site.
Linacre said the pharmacist comes once a week, but is only there if the nurse practitioner is present.
“The goal is always to provide the best care and services possible for our residents,” said Annie Zell, health service administrator of Emerald Heights in the press release. “Our residents have the option of adding an advanced registered nurse practitioner to their health care team or the EvergreenHealth program can replace their primary care needs. This added level of care and convenience is what matters most to us and to our residents.”
Juan Aragon, executive director of Specialties and Physician Services — Medical Affairs for EvergreenHealth, said Emerald Heights approached them with the idea of providing onsite services on their campus.
“We were very excited to figure out a way in which we could make it work for both of us,” he said.
In the release, EvergreenHealth CEO Bob Malte added, “We strive to provide our community with care that is convenient and provides exceptional quality and the best service, which is why we continue to expand and explore opportunities with partners who recognize the importance of offering the right care at the right time for the health and well-being of our patients.”
The clinic has been up and running for about a year at Emerald Heights and both Aragon and Linacre said things have been going well.
They both noted that one of the benefits of EvergreenHealth providing services on the retirement community’s campus is that it puts patients into the former’s system, which makes it easier to safely access their medical information if they end up going to the hospital or need additional services.
While this may be the case, Aragon said this was one of the challenges they had in setting up the clinic — setting up the IT framework to safely navigate and share patient information.
Despite this challenge, he said it has been great to partner with Emerald Heights.
“They’re fantastic,” Aragon said.
Linacre said the program has also been well received by their residents, who are excited to have onsite health services.
“Residents value the range of amenities we have at Emerald Heights,” Zell said in the release. “The convenience and added level of health care they have available through the Health Service Clinic and EvergreenHealth is something we hope to continue to expand upon.”
Aragon added that this is the first clinic of its kind that EvergreenHealth has participated in and they would like to keep it sustainable for the long run.