The Hawai’i Island Beacon Community (HIBC) has begun to expand the region’s first health information exchange (HIE), following a successful pilot phase which began last December at North Hawai’i Community Hospital. The HIE facilitates safer, more efficient, and cost-effective care within the connected health care community across Hawai’i Island. It enables doctors to easily view and share patient records from participating hospitals, doctors’ offices, imaging centers, pharmacies, laboratories and other practices. It also facilitates secure doctor-to-doctor messaging for referrals and consultations, and establishes the foundation for care coordination across the region. This HIE can also connect to other regional HIEs and eventually the Nationwide Health Information Network.
“The Hawai’i Island Beacon project is all about building a better system of health care delivery by providing better care and managing cost. Alere Wellogic’s HIE is helping us reach this ambitious goal by improving the communication and coordination of clinical care and support services,” said Susan Hunt, HIBC Project Director and CEO. “It has been a tremendous demonstration of what collaboration, technology, and community partnerships can achieve. We have accomplished a great deal in a relatively short period of time and are looking forward to next steps.”
The HIE was designed in collaboration with the physicians and technology leadership at North Hawai’i Community Hospital, HIBC, Alere Wellogic, and Booz Allen Hamilton.
- First live HIE on Hawai’i Island now connects doctors in North Hawai’i.
- Charter participants are NHCH, affiliated physicians, and their reference laboratories and imaging centers.
- Authorized doctors and their staff have easy and immediate access to patient information across all connected venues of care, from emergency rooms to specialist offices.
- The shared information is harmonized for easy review and to enable decision support.
- Doctors and staff already observe positive impact on information availability, operational efficiency, and patient care.
- This project lays the foundation for Alere’s electronic health record, wireless diagnostic devices, decision support, analytics, care coordination and population health reporting functions.
Participating organizations include: Cleveland Clinic radiologists at North Hawai’i Community Hospital, Clinical Laboratories of Hawai’i, Diagnostic Laboratory Services, Hawai’i Emergency Physicians Associated, Hamakua Health Center, North Hawai’i Community Hospital, North Hawai’i Hospitalist Physicians and North Hawai’i Medical Group.
“I have always been impressed by the usability of the HIE from Alere Wellogic,” said Dr. William Park, senior general surgeon at North Hawai’i Community Hospital. “We ultimately chose Alere Wellogic because they are unique in understanding what we doctors need — tools that help us be more efficient, but in a way that doesn’t require fundamental change in how we run our day.”
Care providers can more easily and securely communicate, collaborate, and coordinate patient care. For example, emergency room doctors can now view patient histories kept by primary care physicians, preventing adverse events in situations when seconds can make a difference. In turn, primary care doctors can receive and view information regarding their patients’ admissions and discharges. Alere Wellogic’s unique HIE visual presentation also compiles that information into a single sophisticated screen that enables care providers to see the information and trends on their computer or iPad quickly and easily.
“We can now, with the simple click of the mouse or touch on an iPad, see a patient’s entire medical history from all participants without having to laboriously chase it down or piece it together,” continued Dr. Park. “This demonstrates what I believed was possible: that technology can and must be elegant in how it presents patient information. This solution represents a fundamental step forward in how we deliver and coordinate care.”
“It is no secret that adoption of technology has been a longstanding challenge for our industry,” said Sumit Nagpal, President and CEO of Alere Wellogic. “Limited expectations and brute-force solutions have too often been imposed on doctors and their staff. It is not surprising that these solutions have failed to meet doctors’ needs and seen limited use. We knew right from the beginning that we had to inspire daily, routine adoption by doctors and their staff for this investment to be meaningful and sustainable, and we obtained it by launching with a rich set of patient information, compiled and presented in the way doctors work. Our providers can’t imagine going backward, and are excited about what we have in the works to build on this foundation.”