Categorized | Health

HMC awarded Gold Seal of Approval


Hilo Medical Center has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for accreditation by demonstrating compliance with commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in hospitals.

The three-year accreditation award recognizes HMC’s dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s state-of-the-art standards.

HMC underwent a rigorous, unannounced on-site survey January 28-31. A team of Joint Commission expert surveyors evaluated HMC for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of patients, including infection prevention and control, leadership and medication management.

“I’d just like to thank our dedicated team of professionals at Hilo Medical Center,” said Tandy Newsome, RN, Quality Manager at Hilo Medical Center. “Whether their job is cook or nurse, physician or executive, all of our employees have the same goal when they come to work: to help provide the best possible environment and care for our patients.”

“I’ve been a nurse at Hilo Medical Center for almost 25 years,” said Newsome. “The improvements we have made in the last several years have been no less than remarkable. We want to assure our community that patient safety is our top priority, and maintaining The Joint Commission accreditation is one way to accomplish this.”

“In achieving Joint Commission accreditation, Hilo Medical Center has demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for its patients,” says Mark G. Pelletier, R.N., M.S., chief operating officer, Division of Accreditation and Certification Operations, The Joint Commission. “Accreditation is a voluntary process and I commend Hilo Medical Center for successfully undertaking this challenge to elevate its standard of care and instill confidence in the community it serves.”

“Joint Commission accreditation provides us a framework to take our organization to the next level and helps create a culture of excellence,” said Howard N. Ainsley, East Hawaii Regional CEO of Hawaii Health Systems Corporation. “Achieving accreditation, for our organization, is an acknowledgement of our efforts to continually improve the care we provide. I thank everyone for their commitment to our hospital, patients and community.”

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value.

The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 10,600 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,600 other health care organizations that provide long term care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services.

The Joint Commission also certifies more than 2,400 disease-specific care programs such as stroke, heart failure, joint replacement and stroke rehabilitation, and 400 health care staffing services.

An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.

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East Hawaii Patient Portal Is Open for Registration

Patients who were seen at Hilo Medical Center, its outpatient clinics, Ka‘u Hospital and Hale Hoola Hamakua in Honokaa can now access their medical record through the East Hawaii Patient Portal.

This service is free of charge and offers patients secure online access to their health summary that includes information on their hospital stay, current medications, laboratory and imaging reports and educational materials reviewed upon discharge.

Access to health information is available according to each facilities’ adoption of the electronic medical record (EMR) for the following dates: Hilo Medical Center, May 2010; Ka‘u Hospital, May 2011; Hale Hoola Hamakua, July 2011; and Hilo Medical Center Outpatient Clinics, October 2012.

Registration is now open at the Medical Records Department at all facilities. To complete an application for the Patient Portal, a valid form of government-issued identification and a personal e-mail address are required.

“Our HealthConnect team worked extremely hard to be able to offer our patients access to their health record,” said Howard Ainsley, East Hawaii Regional Chief Executive Officer of Hawaii Health Systems Corporation. “Our goal for the Patient Portal is to increase our patients’ knowledge and involvement in their healthcare.”

“The East Hawaii Patient Portal is a pivotal milestone in the history of our HealthConnect electronic medical records system that was first launched in 2010,” said Ainsley. “This is the East Hawaii Region of HHSC’s version of online access to medical records, similar to the Veterans Affairs’ My HealtheVet and Kaiser’s My Health Manager.”

Access to the patient portal:

Questions about patient portal may be sent to:


Brinkman named as Chief Operating Officer at HMC

Hilo Medical Center named Dan Brinkman as Chief Operating Officer.

Brinkman, who joined the hospital in 2007 as the Chief Nurse Executive, will provide operational guidance as Hilo Medical Center pursues its mission of improving our community health through exceptional and compassionate care.

Brinkman most recently led Hilo Medical Center during the Joint Commission survey in late January. Under his leadership, the hospital received the Gold Seal for Approval and was recommended by the accrediting body for “Best Practices” for its Pharm2Pharm partnership with the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy and its Antibiotic Stewardship Project.

“In our healthcare environment there is a real need for progressive leadership and our organization must invest in its team in order to move from good to great,” said Howard Ainsley, East Hawaii Regional CEO of HHSC. “Dan has served us well as Chief Nurse Executive. I am pleased that he has accepted the Chief Operating Officer position where, I believe, he will make a major impact on furthering our organization.”

“After seven years as Chief Nurse Executive, I have come to love the hospital and the community,” Brinkman said. “I am looking forward to working with the excellent leaders and staff to improve the care we provide our patients.”

Prior to joining Hilo Medical Center, Brinkman was the Assistant Administrator of Interventional Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery at Vanderbilt University’s Medical Center.

Brinkman earned a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Colorado, an Associates Degree in Nursing from Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado and a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from Augusta State College in Georgia.

He resides on the Hamakua Coast with his wife, six daughters and extended family.

About Hilo Medical Center

As the Big Island’s leading provider of inpatient and outpatient care, Hilo Medical Center (HMC) delivers a full range of services and programs. The 20-acre campus consists of 276 beds located throughout the 142-bed acute hospital, 22-bed behavioral health facility and 112-bed long-term care facility.

It has 1,000 employees and 250 physicians, representing 33 specialties. As a medical center, it has a network of 10 outpatient clinics offering primary and specialty care. The hospital’s Level III Trauma Center includes the second busiest emergency room in the state, providing 24-hour care to more than 42,000 patients annually.

HMC is the recipient of Mountain Pacific Quality Health’s Quality Achievement Award. It was recognized in 2012 by the insurer HMSA as Hawaii’s leading hospital in improving quality and reducing the cost of providing care.

HMC was also named 2012 Press Ganey Top Improver Award winner for patient satisfaction for improvements. In 2013, it received the American Heart Association Gold Award for cardiac care.

It also was recognized for quality long term care by Providigm for Quality Assurance & Performance Improvement Accredited Facility and Embracing Quality Award for the Prevention of Hospital Readmissions.

Its long term care met the requirements for the American Health Care Association’s Three Tier Level Quality Initiative Recognition Program.

In 2013, HMC’s EMR team, HealthConnect, attained the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) Meaningful Use Stage 1. In addition, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) recognized HMC for achieving Stage 7 on the EMR Adoption ModelSM.

It is part of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, a public entity established in 1996 by the State of Hawaii to fulfill the promise to provide quality, hometown healthcare.

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