Categorized | Health

National Health IT Week (Sept. 10-14)


The Hawaii Island Beacon Community (HIBC) and its participating organizations are celebrating National Health Information Technology (Health IT) Week from Sept. 10-14 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,” Hunt said. “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 Hawaii 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 Hawaii, North Hawaii and West Hawaii for patients with chronic disease.

* Hawaii 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 Hawaii 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 Hawaii HIE.

“The physician community is coming together to implement Health IT,” said Dr. William I. Park, general surgeon at North Hawaii Community Hospital. “Together with HIBC, we are working to make care even better.”

“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 Hawaii. “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 Hawaii
* East Hawaii Independent Physician Association
* Five Mountains Independent Physician Association
* Hamakua Health Center
* Hawaii Health Information Exchange
* Hawaii Island Care Coordination Services
* Hawaii Medical Service Association
* Hawaii Pacific Regional Extension Center
* Hilo Medical Center
* Hui Mālama Ola Na Oiwi
* Kona Community Hospital
* National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii
* North Hawaii Community Hospital
* University of Hawaii at Hilo
* West Hawaii Community Health Center
* West Hawaii Independent Physician Association
* 19 Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) projects islandwide

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 Hawaii 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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