Island HospitalNews

Why it may take longer for your next hospital or clinic visit

Island Hospital is implementing a new electronic medical-record (EMR) system that will be operational beginning May 1, 2018. When patients register for any service on or after May 1, staff will be diligently reviewing medical-record information with each client, which may take a bit longer.

All Island Hospital and clinics patient information will need to be checked for accuracy as is transferred into the new EMR at their next visit. This needs to be done even if you’re already an established Island Hospital or clinic patient, or if you’re registering for a service you’re currently utilizing (cardiac rehabilitation, physical therapy, etc.).

“While it may take longer at your initial hospital or clinic visit,” notes Robert Prins MD, Island Hospital chief medical officer, “subsequent visits will be much quicker with the new EMR.”

For those registering for a hospital service, patient-access department staff will need approximately 10 minutes more to set up each patient, and input personal information into the new system.

Registering at your next clinic visit will take a bit more time as staff will need to carefully check all information that has been imported. In addition, clinic staff will take a photo of each patient to be part of the new medical record. The first post-May 1 visit with the provider will also take longer as they will be ensuring your personal information (such as allergies) is absolutely correct.

“We understand that time is valuable to everyone and we are working to make this process move as quickly as possible,” said John Mathis MD, Island Hospital chief medical information officer. “Care must be taken to ensure we set up each patient’s new record as accurately as possible. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we go through this initial process.”

The new EMR spans all Island Hospital and clinic services, so each patient has one record for all services located here. Therefore, this process will not need to be repeated and eliminates the need to fill out duplicate forms at each point of service (as is the current practice).

The new EMR offers numerous benefits to patients for the long term, including

  • Better, more-accurate recording of patient info.
  • All our services utilize the same system and your information will be available for any type of visit to an IH patient-care department.
  • Streamlined and standardized for patient convenience, no need to sign similar forms from clinic, to specialty care, to IH services.
  • Better information advances patient safety.
  • Your information continues to be secure.

Once you are in the system and through your first provider visit, ensuing visits will be much more efficient. Your medical record will be comprehensive and include your information from all hospital services including clinics, rehabilitation and others.

So please be aware that it may take a few more minutes to register for any service, including the following:

Island Hospital

  • Birth Center
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Dietitian appointments
  • Emergency Department
  • Island Surgeons
  • Laboratory draws
  • Merle Cancer Care Center
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation
  • Respiratory Care Services
  • Speech Therapy
  • Surgical Services


  • Anacortes Family Medicine
  • Fidalgo Medical Associates
  • The Headache Clinic
  • Center for Maternal & Infant Care
  • Center for Pain Management
  • Psychiatry & Behavioral Health
  • Sleep Wellness Center
  • The Walk-In Clinic
  • Wound Care

For more information call the Resource Center at Island Hospital, (360) 299-1397, or click here.