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Whidbey General creates a publication

Staff at Whidbey General Hospital want county residents to know what they're doing, why they're doing it and how it's all going.

A new semiannual publication, titled Report to the Community, is expected to debut in August. Hospital officils say it's intended to keep Island County residents apprised of the goings-on at the hospital, with an emphasis on the free flow of information and building patient-hospital trust.

The publication will be the second sent to the public by the hospital, joining Whidbey General's quarterly magazine, The Pulse. However, hospital officials said, the new report will not have as wide a circulation as The Pulse.

The focus of the new publication, according to hospital CEO Scott Rhine, is to "make information available to our patients and community." It will address such issues as patient services, community relations and financial performance.

Rhine said the idea for the report derives from the hospital's Patients First philosophy, which "recognizes and encourages patient choices, access to information, education and participation."

The report will be made available through several venues, including mailings to community leaders and distribution at locations such as the hospital and doctors' offices. Rhine said the pamphlet will also be available at various community events.

"We believe it's important for the community to have information about services, the quality of services and the financial health of their district hospital," he said Tuesday.

"We feel this is an important means of communicating to the district," he added.

The report was designed by South Whidbey resident Walt Blackford for somewhere between $3,000 and $4,000, Rhine said. The first report will cover all of 2001 and will address such issues as emergency services, patient safety, community relations and the hospital's financial performance.

The frontpiece to the report, which likely will take the form of a tri-fold, is an open letter by Rhine, while on the back will be printed the Patients First philosophy from the hospital's mission statement.

Rhine said the report has been a goal of hospital leadership for two or three years, but only got up and running about three months ago.

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