Hawaii Pacific Health has been named recipient of the 2012 Enterprise HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence. Steve Robertson, executive vice president and chief information officer accepted the award on behalf of the organization at the recent HIMSS 13 Annual Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans, March 3-7, 2013.
Hawaii Pacific Health was well represented at the conference with several members of its team including Robertson, Dr. Dale Glenn, a Straub Clinic & Hospital family physician and medical director of the HealthAdvantage wellness program, and Dr. Melinda Ashton, vice president of Quality and Patient Safety. The group presented to the more than 34,000 attendees about how the organization leveraged electronic health records (EHR) technology to improve patient outcomes and quality at its four hospitals and more than 50 clinics.
“Our investment in technology has truly changed how we deliver health care to our patients,” said Robertson. “Using the resources we have in place, which include our EHR and dedicated care teams, we’ve been able to try new approaches to proactively partner with patients and prevent illness. This innovation is transforming health care in Hawaii and improving health.”
Hawaii Pacific Health is ranked in the top five percent of hospitals nationwide in the adoption of electronic health records, with system-wide implementation that allows its hospitals and physicians to offer integrated, coordinated care throughout the state. Robertson noted that the investment in EHR technology resulted in Hawaii Pacific Health reducing transcription costs by $15.4M and write offs by $23M over ten years. Additionally, the improved documentation resulted in a cost savings for the organization of $14.2M.
“While the financial return on investment is significant, we also saw a huge return on the overall health of our patients,” said Dr. Glenn. “In order to really make a difference, we needed to change our delivery model from physician-centric to patient-centric. This led to a team approach to care with the focus on the patient and ensuring that care is delivered appropriately and seamlessly.”
Nationally, 75 percent of all health care costs are attributed to chronic diseases like diabetes. In Hawaii, caring for people with diabetes costs $1 billion a year. “Pre-EHR, we could not easily identify how many of our patients were diabetic,” said Dr. Glenn. “With our EHR, we can be proactive with patients and help them achieve better control of their disease and prevent further complications such as high blood pressure, heart disease or amputation. Today, our diabetic patients are meeting or exceeding key measures, placing us in the 90th percentile for diabetes management. We could not have done this without a comprehensive EHR system that allows everyone on the clinical team to be on the same page for patient care.”
Since implementation of the EHR, Hawaii Pacific Health is now able to help its patients stay well by identifying those in need of annual preventive screenings such as mammography, colonoscopy and cancer screenings. The Health Management Team at Hawaii Pacific Health proactively calls on patients to remind them about these important tests. Called the “friendly ambush,” the team tries to catch patients as they arrive for appointments and attempt to schedule the patient on the spot for the necessary screening or test.
“A lot of our success is due to patient engagement,” said Dr. Glenn. “We’re able to use our technology resources to offer an online portal called MyHealthAdvantage to help our patients take charge of their health just by using their smartphone, tablet or computer. MyHealthAdvantage enables patients to manage their doctor appointments, refill prescriptions and view their test or lab results. Patients can even send a confidential message to their physician.”
According to Robertson, when MyHealthAdvantage was introduced in 2010, it had approximately 300 users. “Recently, we surpassed 32,000 users and continue to see interest from our patients who want to be more involved with their health care. Patients also appreciate that MyHealthAdvantage allows them to manage the care of their family members such as their children or parents. It’s this type of use of technology that has the ability to transform health care.”
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