As Washington State’s only independently-owned home infusion service, Infusion Solutions has a reputation for always saying “yes” to their patients and referral sources alike. “We have consistently done the right thing,” says Infusion Solutions’ Account Manager Chuck Loos. Indeed, their mission statement puts patients first, and they always strive to meet their unique individual needs.
While infusions may not generally be at the forefront of people’s minds until they find themselves in need of services, it is important to know what options are available. Infusion Solutions provides infusions of all kinds including IV antibiotics, TPN, enteral nutrition, hydration, chemotherapy and more. They also infuse specialty medications such as Remicade, IVIG and Tysabri, and offer travel consultations and vaccines.
The home infusion industry is a solution for many patients with a variety of ailments which allows them to remain in a comfortable setting. The objective is to keep people out of more expensive sites of care, such as nursing homes and hospitals, and home in a warm and familiar environment.
Rowena Birnel RPh, owner and operator of Infusion Solutions, decided to take her extensive fourteen-year knowledge of the home infusion industry and open a new location after leaving a large national home infusion company. She opened Infusion Solutions in 2010 with only five employees. They now have 27 employees and see patients in Whatcom, Skagit, Island, San Juan, Shohomish and even northern King counties.
Their facility on Prince Street just off Meridian in Bellingham boasts large, comfy chairs with amenities such as movies, television, free Wi-Fi and blankets. Comfort is key for those patients who come to the facility for their infusions, often staying as long as six hours depending on the type of infusions they are receiving.
Currently, the Infusion Solutions clinical team consists of four pharmacists, 11 RNs, eight pharmacy technicians and one registered dietitian. They are truly collaborative advocates of their patients, meeting daily to discuss the optimal way to provide care for each patient they serve.
“How we go about our business is what differentiates us,” says Loos. “We are constantly and consistently patient-focused. When you call our office, you get a live person. Our team interacts with each other and are always looking for what could be improved or done better. That’s what makes us different.”
Loos explains that the patients are an integral part of the home infusion process. Patients and caregivers are taught the modalities needed to self- administer the infusions at home. Once that initial teaching and training is complete, the patients are seen weekly for lab draws, dressing changes and full RN assessments. While the staff may not see their patients every day, they interact often and are on call twenty-hours a day, seven days a week.
From a five-week old to a 102-year old, patients’ needs vary as much as their difference in years. “We’ve seen some young mothers through some pretty challenging pregnancies,” says Loos as he compassionately describes the types of patients they are fortunate to serve.
As an accredited specialty pharmacy, Infusion Solutions is able to further meet the needs of patients living outside their local service territory. “We’re able to compound the drugs in our pharmacy and ship them,” explains Loos, who says they currently ship as far as Eastern Washington and northern Idaho. They coordinate with nursing agencies in those locations to fulfill the administration side of the home infusion process.
Infusion Solutions has proven that they meet and exceed patient expectations when it comes to high quality service. “Of all of the [customer] surveys collected, not one said they wouldn’t come back or refer us to friends and family,” says Loos. “We have gotten some amazing thank you cards from people we have helped through some really tough times.”
That compassion and caring is apparent in Infusion Solutions‘ commitment to the community. Each year the company supports various sports teams and tournaments, senior events and more, including productions at Mount Baker Theatre.
While you may not be thinking about infusions today, it is good to know you have a choice in care when and if the time comes. Thanks to Infusion Solutions, you or your loved one will have the best options in home infusion care.