Patient Access

Hawai‘i Pacific Health Utilizes Virtual Solutions for Success

Doctor leverages health tech to improve patient care

Health happens everywhere. That’s why extending care delivery outside of traditional healthcare settings is critical in order to support patient engagement in individual health outcomes.

Finding more ways to maintain health outside the hospital is also key to addressing burnout issues impacting our doctors, nurses and other frontline healthcare professionals—all of whom benefit from streamlined workflows that keep their work environment safe, orderly and manageable.

Technology can’t solve every problem, but when accompanied by the right information and strategy to drive it forward, it can make a measurable difference. Hawai‘i Pacific Health recognized this as they watched their patient population continue to increase significantly in recent years while they were also adjusting to new value-based care models. As patient numbers grew, the number of physicians on staff to treat them remained stagnant.

Eager to find a solution, the organization convened a cross-functional group of employees to champion innovative solutions to combat these challenges.

Virtual Solutions for Low-Acuity Conditions

To get started, Hawai‘i Pacific Health gathered a diverse group of staff and expertise to determine a strategy for implementing e-visits, and to elevate the use of and improve other existing patient engagement solutions such as patient portals.

Clinic operations management staff served as the boots-on-the-ground group, coordinating timelines and training, and tracking metrics. IT project management professionals supported the group by researching different tools, then building and implementing interventions. Physicians incorporated clinical expertise and helped pilot interventions, while also garnering feedback from peers along the way to report to the project team. The group also looked at different ways to leverage the support of expanded care team members including nurse practitioners, behaviorists and pharmacists.

Hawai‘i Pacific Health’s e-visits address various low-acuity, episodic conditions like back pain, heartburn and sinus problems. Patients can log in to their patient portal and answer questions based on the condition specified. They can also upload photos for the doctor or request sick notes. The physician reviews the patient’s submission and then follows up virtually or by phone for next steps to treat the patient.

Hawai‘i Pacific Health was able to improve access and quality of care provided to their evolving patient population, which led to a variety of positive results—including 6% growth in attributed patient lives, 50% reduction in after-hours work time, 18% reduction in face-to-face visits, and over $3 million per year of payer-related cost avoidance.

HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence

The HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence recognizes the thoughtful application of health information and technology to substantially improve clinical care delivery, patient outcomes and population health around the world. The Davies Awards program promotes HIMSS’s vision and mission by recognizing and sharing use cases, model practices and lessons learned on how to improve health and wellness through the power of information and technology.

“As the first three-time Davies Award winner, Hawai‘i Pacific Health continues to find new, thoughtful ways to apply information and technology to combat the population health and acute clinical challenges of their patient population,” said Jonathan French, CPHIMS, SHIMS, senior director of quality and patient safety initiatives at HIMSS. “Hawai‘i Pacific Health’s work leveraging information and technology to improve care transitions, better risk stratify patients to ensure they receive the appropriate standard of care across the care continuum, and significantly reduce length of stay demonstrates continued innovation and thought leadership.”

“We are both humbled and gratified to win the prestigious HIMSS Davies Award for the third time. Healthcare today is a blend of clinical teamwork and quality standards combined with the latest technology to provide a superior patient experience. That is our aim, and it’s all part of our mission to create a healthier Hawai‘i,” said Steve Robertson, executive vice president and chief information officer, Hawai‘i Pacific Health.

Learn From Award-Winning Health Systems

See the full list of 2019 Davies Award winners.

More About the HIMSS Davies Awards

Updated March 6, 2020

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