Kittitas Valley Community Hospital will collaborate with Virginia Mason Medical Center to offer a monthly pacemaker clinic, beginning February 17. The clinic, to be held the third Friday of each month, will allow patients who have pacemakers to receive routine device checks at Kittitas Valley Internal Medicine, a specialty clinic of KVCH. Checks will be conducted by a medical provider from the Virginia Mason Medical Center cardiology department.
"This service will allow patients to receive care within the community, rather than traveling to Yakima or Seattle," according to Dr. Don Solberg, Chief Medical Officer at KVCH. Dr. Solberg estimates there are about 100 people living in Kittitas County with a pacemaker - and each patient has their pacemaker checked up to four times per year.
KVCH has a strong existing relationship with Virginia Mason Medical Center. The organizations already collaborate on stroke services, allowing teleconsultation with a Virginia Mason Medical Center neurologist for suspected stroke patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The new pacemaker clinic will allow Virginia Mason Medical Center staff to check battery levels, obtain diagnostic information for the device, test the integrity of the generator and leads, make program adjustments, and provide recommendations for replacement as the device ages. A report will
be sent to the patient's regular cardiologist after each appointment.
"Our intention is to provide a needed service locally while allowing patients to maintain relationships with their own physicians," said Dr. Solberg. "Patients will need to continue to see their cardiologist at least once per year. The routine, frequent pacemaker checks are what will be available at KVCH."
Appointments will be available on the third Friday of each month between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Most insurance companies can be billed for the service, including Medicare and Medicaid. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call Kittitas Valley Internal Medicine at (509) 925-6100.