We’ve received many wonderful comments from our patient surveys, as well as some great questions that are summarized below. We’re seeing even more patients than we expected, so we’ve added provider time to improve access.
• How do I schedule an appointment? eCare, our online scheduling and message system is one of the easiest ways for you to set up appointments, send your care team a message and see your medical records including lab and X-ray results. You can also call our central scheduling team at (360) 376.2561. They are open Monday-Saturday, evenings and many holidays to help you schedule appointments. If you need to speak to someone at the clinic, simply press “2” when you call the main number during business hours and you’ll be routed directly to the clinic. We reserve about 25 percent of our appointments every day for same-day needs, so we can see acutely sick patients as well as those who schedule in advance. For non-acute needs, we can usually offer appointments within 3-5 business days.
• Who do I call after clinic hours? We understand that for Orcas, it’s not easy to go to an Urgent Care facility or an ER. We offer several options for after-hours care to manage your needs locally as much as possible, and our priority will always be your health and safety. Please remember that eCare, while a wonderful communication tool, is not appropriate for addressing urgent medical issues. If you’re ever in doubt, call 911 for urgent health concerns.
After-hours care options include:
• Virtual Clinic – For many conditions you can use our Virtual Clinic, available 24/7. It allows you to have a phone or Skype consultation with a clinician who can diagnose and treat, including calling in prescriptions if needed. (Medicare patients will be able to access this service soon.)
• Triage Nurse – You can call our clinic number (360) 376.2561 to speak with a triage nurse who will view your medical records and advise you whether you can try home care and wait until the next clinic day.
• On-Call Provider – The triage nurse may recommend that you speak with our on-call doctor, who can view your medical records and medications and provide additional guidance regarding next steps.
• Emergency Care – We may recommend you call 911 or seek emergency care if necessary.
• What if I don’t have insurance? UW Medicine Orcas Island Clinic accepts government coverage, including Medicaid and Medicare. We also honor the same Charity Care policy as the broader UW Medicine health system, which ensures that we are able to care for all members of the community, regardless of their ability to pay.
• Kaiser –We appreciate that Kaiser continues to maintain the same contract for Orcas Island residents that existed before UW Medicine came to the Island. This contract allows residents to maintain primary care at the UW Medicine Orcas Island Clinic. Kaiser also retains the same access for specialty care as before. We request authorization from Kaiser to be able to send our patients to UW Medicine specialists if that is their preference. Kaiser then reviews these requests on a case-by-case basis. We’re continuing to work with Kaiser to find ways to streamline this process. No matter which specialists our patients see, our providers will still coordinate with them on patient care plans.
• Lab Draws – We’re listening to your feedback which indicates that you’d like to be able to have non-UW lab work done at the UW Medicine Orcas Island Clinic. We are working with our partners at UW Lab Services to identify a workable solution for this issue, and we hope to make it available by April 1.
• Who can I call if I have questions? If you have questions about your clinic visit or bill, you can call our Clinic Manager, Jen Taylor, at (360)376.2561 press ‘2’ during business hours. She will make sure your question or concern gets to the right person.
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