Spokane Journal of Business

Columbia Surgical Specialists to join Providence

Organizations to share patient records system

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Providence Medical Group and Columbia Surgical Specialists have agreed to a partnership in which Providence will assume operational control of Columbia Surgical’s four clinics.

Beginning Aug. 8, Providence will employ all of Columbia Surgical’s 185 employees. That number includes all but one physician; Dr. Jordan Sand, of Spokane Center for Facial Plastics, who will transition into his own practice, Sand Plastic Surgery. 

Dr. Cara Beatty, chief operating officer with Providence’s medical groups, says that the two health care entities will integrate medical records into the MyChart system Providence uses.

“That will allow for some ease of communication among the care team, and that’s going to be a benefit for patients and improve efficiencies,” Beatty says.

Dr. David Brown, general surgeon and board member with Columbia Surgical, says integrating medical records will be a boon in that Columbia Surgical also will be able to share records more easily with other health care providers that also use MyChart.

“When we send our patients to cardiology for pre-operative evaluation or to other specialties for other surgical needs that they have, we’ll be able to see the notes from them,” Brown says.

Beatty says little will change for Columbia Surgical employees. Columbia Surgical staff will be responsible for patient care, but administrative decisions will ultimately be made by Providence. Brown says employees are otherwise unlikely to experience changes.

“For the employees’ side, for the most part, the day-to-day operations are going to be very similar,” Brown says. 

Columbia Surgical also will add the Providence name, officially becoming Providence Columbia Surgical Services, he says.

Brown says Columbia Surgical reached out to Providence about two years ago with the intent to establish a formal relationship.

“We had an informal relationship with Providence for years,” says Brown. “We looked at having something more formal with Providence as a way of expanding the care that we can offer for our patients.”

Beatty says Providence and Columbia Surgical integrating is a positive action for patients.

“When health care resources are constrained, as we all know they have been, working together to be as efficient as we can be allows us to focus on more patients and to focus on the care of patients in the way that makes the most sense,” she says.

Virginia Thomas
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Reporter Virginia Thomas has worked at the Journal since 2017 and covers the health care industry. As a reporter, she loves learning about Spokane's many growing industries. She enjoys travelling with her husband, snuggling with her cats, and cross stitching.

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