WATERVILLE — Inland Hospital on Kennedy Memorial Drive is one of several health care facilities in Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems that on Monday will celebrate the system’s name change and those of its member organizations to Northern Light Health.

The effort is designed to reflect a key step in the system’s evolution from individual locations with a regional focus to an integrated health delivery organization with coordinated statewide offerings, according to hospital officials.

Inland President John Dalton said Friday that the name change will make hospitals, nursing homes, physicians practices, clinics, ambulance services, health care and hospice services that are now considered members of the EMHS System that work together statewide all part of one system — Northern Light Health.

As part of the change, one electronic health record-keeping system, instead of the current two, will be used for all Northern Light locations, and that system will be launched Monday.

Using one record system will allow care provided to patients to be elevated because the information contained in the system is more detailed, according to Dalton. For example, the system is capable of monitoring what is happening with a patient’s blood test results and other information.

“If you have to see a doctor in Bangor or Portland, he’ll have immediate access to your medical records,” Dalton said.

There will be more integration of management services, computer and operating systems, which is expected to make everything more efficient and, in some cases, control costs.

“It’s the ability to standardize care across the system — one level of care,” Dalton said.

On Monday, Inland Hospital will become Northern Light Inland Hospital, Sebasticook Valley Health in Pittsfield will become Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital and Charles A. Dean Memorial Hospital in Greenville will become Northern Light CA Dean Hospital. Inland Family Care on The Concourse in downtown Waterville will become Northern Light Primary Care, Inland Rheumatology will be Northern Light Rheumatology, and so on. Inland has 14 primary care and specialty care practices in and around Waterville.

Mercy Hospital in Portland will become Northern Light Mercy Hospital, the Aroostook Medical Center in Presque Isle will be Northern Light A.R. Gould Hospital, partly its original name, and hospitals with the word “memorial” in them will lose that word. So, for instance, Blue Hill Memorial Hospital will be Northern Light Blue Hill Hospital.

All practices will be prefixed with “Northern Light,” according to Sara Barry, Inland’s director of community relations and Northern Light Brand ambassador.

“We tried very hard to make it simple and consumer-centric so it is easy to understand.”

The name change will not mean moving services to other locations, making it difficult for patients to access them, according to Barry and Dalton.

“We are the same people that people are used to seeing at Inland Hospital and our practices, so that’s not changing,” Barry said.

Some specialty care offices might be moved onto the Inland campus, making it more convenient for people and more cost-effective, according to Dalton.

Hospitals and other health care facilities became part of EMHS at various times, and changing the names will make it clearer that they are all under the Northern Light Health banner, they said. In some cases, such as with the Presque Isle hospital, the word “Eastern Maine” does not really reflect the location of that facility, they said.

Inland and CA Dean became part of EMHS in 1998; Sebasticook Valley, in 2001; Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, in 1982; Acadia Hospital, in 1992; Blue Hill, in 2005; The Aroostook Medical Center, 1999; Mercy Hospital, 2013; and Maine Coast Memorial Hospital, 2015.

Dalton, who was part of the team that worked to develop the name change, said the word “Northern” resonates with people and “Light” designates a beacon of hope, aspiration, wanting to lead — and sunlight. Maine also is the first place the sun touches in the U.S., he said.

Inland employees will celebrate the name change Monday at the hospital, where Dalton will speak and the new Northern Light Health logo will be unveiled.

The system employs 12,000 to 13,000 people at 124 sites and is one of the largest employers in the state, according to Dalton and Barry.

Inland this year is celebrating its 75th anniversary. On Friday, Oct. 5, it will present its annual Fall Pops Concert at the Waterville Opera House.

With the future of health care moving to the outpatient or ambulatory side, Inland also has been engaged in a master facility planning process to determine how to make the best use of offices attached to the hospital and, at some point, to build an addition to the hospital, according to Dalton.

He said EMHS owns or leases 5.5 million square feet of facility space around the state.

Separately from the name-changing issue, officials brought in engineers and architects to look at infrastructure needs, recommend whether space is needed or not needed in certain situations, gauge how health-care is changing and think about facilities over the next 10 years and where investments and changes should be made, according to Dalton.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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