Hawai‘i Island Health Care Organizations Celebrate National Health IT Week

The Hawai‘i Island Beacon Community (HIBC) and its participating organizations are celebrating National Health Information Technology (Health IT) Week from Sept. 10-14, 2012 and raising awareness about how technology is achieving better health care, improved health and lower costs.

“Health care delivery on the Big Island is at the forefront of the nation because of groundbreaking collaboration and technology,” said Susan Hunt, HIBC project director and CEO. “Thanks to the partnership and leadership of our participating organizations, we are seeing tremendous results from implementing and using Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to improve patient care and health outcomes. Technology streamlines access to information and connects providers across the state, enabling communication that can change and save lives.”
Some of the most noteworthy milestones in Health IT on the Big Island to date are:
  • More than 85 percent of Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) have set up EHRs and more than 26 percent have achieved Stage 1 Meaningful Use to qualify for federal incentive payments. HIBC and the Hawai‘i Pacific Regional Extension Center (REC) are assisting Big Island physicians with adopting EHRs and demonstrating Meaningful Use.
  • There are 29 PCP practices serving approximately 25,000 patients participating in HIBC’s Practice Redesign initiative to adopt the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model, which includes the use of EHRs.
  • More than 500 patients are participating in the Care Coordination initiative, which is paving the way for Health IT to enhance communication between providers and create collaborative health care “neighborhoods” in East Hawai‘i, North Hawai‘i and West Hawai‘i for patients with chronic disease. A new HIBC partner, Hawai‘i Island Care Coordination Services (HICCS), has introduced another Health IT tool that provides in-home monitoring.
  • An array of Health Information Exchange (HIE) options are becoming available for physicians. One HIE system being developed through the partnership of HIBC, North Hawai‘i Community Hospital and Alere Wellogic, has completed a successful pilot phase and is expanding to other providers. Big Island physicians are also signing up to use secure direct messaging and referrals through the statewide Hawai‘i HIE.
“The physician community is coming together to implement Health IT,” said Dr. William I. Park, general surgeon at North Hawai‘i Community Hospital. “Together with HIBC, we are working to make care even better.”
During Health IT Week, HIBC will be sharing patient stories about the impact of Health IT through daily emails, online at hibeacon.org and through Facebook (Facebook.com/hibeacon) and Twitter (@hibeacon) with the #NHITWeek hashtag. There will also be flyers and stickers displayed at various sites across the island.
“Through HIBC, our health care organizations have rallied to transform health care and improve the health of our people,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi of the County of Hawai‘i. “The Big Island really is a shining example of how technology can power better health care and better health.”
Some of HIBC’s participating organizations include:
  • AlohaCare
  • Bay Clinic
  • County of Hawai‘i
  • East Hawai‘i Independent Physician Association
  • Five Mountains Independent Physician Association
  • Hāmākua Health Center
  • Hawai‘i Health Information Exchange
  • Hawai‘i Island Care Coordination Services
  • Hawai‘i Medical Service Association
  • Hawai‘i Pacific Regional Extension Center
  • Hilo Medical Center
  • Hui Mālama Ola Nā ‘Ōiwi
  • Kona Community Hospital
  • National Kidney Foundation of Hawai‘i
  • North Hawai‘i Community Hospital
  • University of Hawai‘i at Hilo
  • West Hawai‘i Community Health Center
  • West Hawai‘i Independent Physician Association
  • 19 Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) projects island-wide
The Beacon Communities have been working for the last two years to build and strengthen Health IT infrastructure, turn investments in Health IT into measurable improvements, and test innovative Health IT options. Today, more than 100,000 providers nationally are using EHRs.
“Thanks in great part to the work conducted by Beacon Communities, more and more providers — especially in rural communities like those of Hawai‘i Island — are now using EHRs and other technologies to modernize our health care system” said Craig Brammer, director of the Beacon Community Program with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. “We hope these achievements will help pave the way for other communities across the country.”

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