By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News
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The heart doctor will be an employee of Swedish Medical Center — to which OMC is affiliated — but a member of Olympic Medical Physicians and OMC medical staff.
“We’re going to be working with Swedish on how we can improve the patient experience,” OMC Chief Executive Officer Eric Lewis told hospital commissioners last week.
“We really don’t have enough local cardiologists. We currently have two full-time cardiologists, but we have significant wait times to get patients in.”
Next month, the seven hospital commissioners will consider an agreement with Swedish, the Seattle-based health care system that OMC teamed up with in October 2011, to recruit another cardiologist to live and work on the North Olympic Peninsula.
It would be a similar arrangement that recently brought two neurologists — Drs. Stafford Conway and David Roberts — to the Olympic Medical Physicians Specialty Clinic in Sequim. Both are members of the Swedish Neuroscience Institute.
The goal of the affiliation was to expand the medical services available on the Peninsula while helping OMC’s finances.
The public hospital district already has formed a task force to work on cardiology recruitment. The task force includes several physicians, administrators and board Chairman Dr. John Miles.
“The No. 1 goal of the cardiology task force is more cardiology services locally,” Lewis said.
“We want to have open access and really be patient-focused. And we’re going to work on how our system and Swedish can become seamless.”
Jefferson Healthcare and Forks Community Hospital affiliated with Swedish shortly after OMC did.
OMC currently has four part-time Swedish cardiologists working at its Sequim Medical Plaza on Thursdays.
“That’s meant to be a temporary measure until we can get this other cardiologist,” Lewis said.
“Having another full-time cardiologist here is really critical if we’re going to have the patient access and the services we want locally.
“But it’s been a big plus,” Lewis said of the temporary help.
“I’m very pleased with how Swedish has stepped up with those doctors coming here. It’s been a major effort on Swedish’s part, and it’s really helped a lot of patients because being able to see your cardiologist locally saves a trip to Seattle, and it’s just a big plus.”
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.