New urgent care expands Port Orchard’s health options

Port Orchard’s healthcare options expanded this week as Harrison Hospital’s new urgent care center saw its first patient Thursday morning.

Linked to a radiological facility, the complex increases the depth and breadth of local treatment options.

“This is a commitment to provide technical but compassionate healthcare,” said Harrison President and CEO Scott Bosch. “It provides an economic boon for this part of the county. It combines high-tech with high-touch and gives patients a sense of confidence that the people here really know what they are doing.”

“We’re providing 24-hour access to medical care for minor injuries,” said facility director Mari Van Court. “This is where you come with a cut finger or an earache in the middle of the night. It keeps healthcare right here in Port Orchard.”

The new facility is adjacent to the old, which has been in operation since 1996. What’s new is the hours, with the new facility staying open around the clock, providing a better option than driving to Bremerton and Tacoma.

And the 36,000 square-foot building also contains a modern radiological facility, offering the option to see exactly how severe a broken arm might be.

The urgent care segment contains eight identically configured examination rooms, and two others with observation facilities — for cases where collaboration is necessary.

The greatest innovation derives from paperless digital record-keeping, which increases efficiency and speeds patient service.

Once entered, patient data is available at any workstation. If the patient is transferred, the receiving hospital will have this information at its fingertips.

And with regard to the stereotypes about doctor illegibility, accuracy is also increased. Since no handwriting is involved there is less room for error and misunderstanding.

“Medicine is all about information,” said Bosch. “The more information you have, the better care will be. With the new records system, we can capture every detail and access it whenever they make another visit.

“The system is comprehensive and ties in with things like images and charts,” he said. “When a doctor writes out an instruction, it can be misinterpreted by a nurse. This will be all accurate the first time. There will be no misreads.”

“All of our documents and images are made available to consulting doctors on a secure Web server,” said Advanced Medical Imaging administrator Kurt Newcomer. “They can call up the image and reports from whenever they are. There is no development time and no transport time. They know the results instantaneously and can start treatment right away.”

Technology grows by leaps and bounds, but Bosch said components can last up to seven years.

Even with all the medical bells and whistles, this is not an emergency room. There is an objective list of what it can and cannot treat.

This is appropriate for an allergy attack, minor burns or bruises, cuts or sprains. Patients with excessive bleeding, difficulty breathing, major burns or poisoning should go to Bremerton or Tacoma.

Those arriving at the clinic with a severe ailment will be transported to the nearest hospital, so there is some wiggle room.

And while every case is different, patients who have severe chest pains or cannot arrive at the clinic under their own steam should go directly to the hospital.

Harrison Port Orchard Urgent Care Center is located at 450 S. Kitsap Blvd., at the corner of South Kitsap Boulevard and Tremont.

It is always open, for walk-ins or by appointment.

For more information about services call (866) 844-9355.

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