Everett Clinic, Providence featured in PBS documentary about health care successes

  • Tue Feb 21st, 2012 8:34pm
  • News

By Sharon Salyer Herald Writer

Everett is featured in a documentary being broadcast later this week about how local communities have found ways to improve and reduce costs for health care.

The documentary, “U.S. Health Care: The Good News,” is scheduled to be broadcast on PBS station KCTS-TV, Channel 9 at noon Friday and 3 p.m. Sunday.

The film crew conducted interviews in August 2010 at The Everett Clinic and Providence Regional Medical Center Everett.

The documentary team was led by author and longtime Washington Post reporter T.R. Reid.

“The trend in our movie is of doctors and hospitals that actually care about lowering costs and figuring out how to do it,” Reid said.

The lesson from the film, he said, is that states and local communities can take the initiative in making changes in how health care is delivered. “We don’t have to wait for Washington, D.C., to make us do this,” he said. “On the shores of Puget Sound, they’re doing it already.”

Topics discussed in film include The Everett Clinic’s participation in a national project to find ways to provide seniors with better and more cost-effective care.

The film crew also spent two days at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, filming heart bypass surgery and documenting the hospital’s “single stay” unit where cardiac patients stay in a single room during recovery.

They also talked with hospital staff about an innovative blood conservation program that uses several ways to reduce blood loss during surgery. Its goal is to avoid unnecessary transfusions.

The program has gained international attention for shortening hospital stays for open heart patients and avoiding unnecessary transfusions. Medical costs also are reduced because less time is spent in the hospital and on equipment such as ventilators.

The film crew also made stops at Group Health in Seattle, Grand Junction in Mesa County, Colo., and Allentown, Pa.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; salyer@heraldnet.com.

When to watch

The PBS documentary, “U.S. Health Care: The Good News,” is scheduled to air twice on KCTS-TV, Channel 9: at noon Friday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Watch a preview of the film at tinyurl.com/GoodNewsPreview.