The Commonwealth Health Care Corp. is currently in the midst of aligning its services throughout the CNMI, with the goal of elevating health services on Tinian and Rota to the same level as that of Saipan’s.
This new structure envisions achieving health equity for Tinian and Rota residents. That would mean advances at the Commonwealth Health Center on Saipan will be made simultaneously at the Tinian and Rota health centers
This alignment of services is seen to increase operating efficiencies and each setting will be transformed to provide comprehensive primary care.
Each of the health centers on Tinian and Rota has been operating largely in isolation, missing opportunities for mutual support, innovation, and modernization within CHCC. With CHCC acquiring management responsibilities for both centers, changes are currently being made to the organizational structure of either clinic.
Some of those planned improvements are additional medical providers who will live on either island full-time for care continuity. Electronic enhancements such as scheduling systems and tele-pharmacy conferences have now been implemented in order to help CHCC continue to provide the varied services on Tinian and Rota. Assessments of radiology and laboratory capabilities are being undertaken to explore opportunities for service growth.
These changes come on the heels of community feedback and requests, where residents on both islands want to build relationships with their medical care provider, which can be difficult when providers are rotating in and out of Saipan. Other challenges cited by residents include the limited on-island ancillary services and medical record exchange with the hospital on Saipan.
With these impending changes, Tinian Health Center resident director Rodney Cabarles expects better communication and support for Tinian, while Rota Health Center resident director Vanessa Quitugua believes that the technology to make this move now exists and will be helpful to expand services like telemedicine.
“We’re all learning from each other through this process and it feels great to have a whole network of people that I can rely on to help our health center deliver high quality primary care,” Quitugua said.
CHCC asks for the community’s patience while these changes take place. Other changes to be expected at both the Rota and Tinian health centers include making appointments for non-emergency visits, preparing for more thorough visits with medical providers, and anticipating other procedural changes which may be unfamiliar at first, but are designed to improve efficiency. Patients will also begin to notice that a greater scope of services are offered during visits.