PORT ANGELES — It’s been nearly a month since Peninsula Children’s Clinic moved to its new location, and doctors are now pretty well settled in, said Dr. Jeff Weller, one of the physicians practicing at the clinic.
Peninsula Children’s Clinic, previously across the street from Olympic Medical Center, reopened Jan. 3 at 303 W. Eighth St.
The Children’s Clinic was previously privately owned but is now under the umbrella of Olympic Medical Physicians.
“It’s a completely different entity, with many of the same people doing the same thing and providing the same level of service,” Weller said.
Patients seeking care at the clinic may receive a separate billing for a facility fee now that it is a hospital-based clinic, according to the OMC website, olympicmedical.org.
Among the major changes at Peninsula Children’s Clinic is that doctors are now using electronic health record software Epic, the same software OMC and “a good percentage” of providers in Port Angeles use, Weller said.
“It talks to the hospital, emergency room and many of the specialists in town,” he said.
Without transferring to OMP, it would have been difficult to use an electronic medical records system at the clinic, Weller said.
The systems require support from an informatics department — which refers to technology and computing — he said, which Peninsula Children’s Clinic didn’t have access to previously.
“Many of the vendors don’t even want to work with small groups,” he said. “We felt there was a need to become part of a bigger organization.”
That wasn’t the only benefit of joining OMP and moving to the new building, according to Weller.
Now that the clinic is under OMP, it’s easier to recruit new providers, he said, adding that a new pediatrician is joining within the next month.
“We’ve had difficulty finding new providers for many years,” Weller said.
Counting the new pediatrician, Peninsula Children’s Clinic will have six pediatricians, two advanced practice clinicians, one physician assistant and a nurse practitioner, he said.
The new facility also offers more examination rooms.
Now that Peninsula Children’s Clinic is part of OMP, the on-call pediatrician for the day works out of OMC’s new Medical Office Building across the street from the hospital at 939 Caroline St.
That doctor is available for the emergency room and for any urgent situations that may happen at the hospital.
“It allows a provider to be quickly available to provide services,” Weller said.
That pediatrician can take scheduled same-day appointments in the space adjacent to the new walk-in clinic.
Weller, who started at Peninsula Children’s Clinic in 2001, said he was sad to see the old building demolished earlier this month.
Retired physician Dr. Gene Turner opened the North Olympic Peninsula’s first pediatric clinic in that building.
Good work had been done there for about half a century, Weller said, but the new building is better suited for the clinic.
“It’s better set up to handle the new information technology that’s needed, and it gives us more space,” he said.
Murals adorned the walls of the waiting room and exam rooms of the previous building.
While the murals are now gone, photos of the murals will now hang in the new building.
“Before the old building was torn down, there were pictures taken of the murals,” Weller said. “It’s tying the old to the new.”
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.