Hawaii Pacific Health, one of the largest healthcare providers in the Aloha state, has been named a HIMSS Enterprise Davies Award recipient—for the second time—in recognition of its excellence in leveraging health information technology to improve patient outcomes while achieving return on its investment.
The not-for-profit healthcare system, which operates four medical centers, as well as 70 outpatient clinics and service sites statewide, was recognized in 2012 and again in 2016. Hawaii Pacific has the distinction of being only the second two-time winner of the Davies Award since the program’s inception in 1994.
“HPH is receiving the Davies Award from HIMSS for their work in reducing sepsis mortality and length of stay and saving nearly 300 lives, significantly improving population health outcomes and patient access, and reducing complications due to hypoglycemia through the use of health IT,” said Jonathan French, senior director of health information systems at HIMSS North America.
Specifically, Hawaii Pacific was able to reduce the length of stay for all its sepsis patients by almost two full days, while saving 275 lives over two years, through the development of a series of electronic health record order sets and alerts using best practices algorithms. In addition, the healthcare provider implemented a computer-directed insulin dosing system, EHR order sets for insulin dosing and wireless glucometer integration that significantly reduced length of stay for diabetic patients.
According to Steve Robertson, executive vice president and chief information officer of Hawaii Pacific, HIT has helped to transform the culture at his healthcare organization.
“What it really comes down to is clinical outcomes, and IT is the tool that has enabled those results,” says Robertson. “One of the underlying initiatives is to reduce average length of stay. We realized that if we could reduce our average length of stay by 2 percent a year, over five years that could actually benefit us by $156 million.”
Hawaii Pacific first implemented its Epic EHR system in 2002. The enterprise-wide, highly integrated system is used in both inpatient and outpatient facilities, as well as by more than 250 of its community providers, to drive improvements in outcome measures and reduce care costs.
For instance, to better population health management, HPH created a data warehouse, integrated ancillary technology to its Epic system, and utilized EHR functionality to drive metrics, engage patients, and significantly improve ambulatory patient outcomes while generating an additional $6 million in revenue through greater efficiencies.
Robertson credits the health system’s successful results with its ability to rank patients by risk and the fact that all inpatient and ambulatory facilities are supported by a single instance of the Epic EHR. He notes that Hawaii Pacific has a dedicated group that handles complex case management.
“We couldn’t achieve these kinds of improvements without actionable data—it’s critical,” says Melinda Ashton, MD, the delivery system’s senior vice president and chief quality officer. “We’re able to get useful information to better understand our practices and where we need to improve.
“In the case of sepsis, we’re identifying patients that we might have otherwise missed and provided care rapidly to help reduce the risk of death,” Ashton adds.
According to Robertson, aligning its health IT and quality strategies has been crucial to its success. “The thing that makes us very effective is our partnership with Dr. Ashton’s team in the quality department,” he concludes. “Our close partnership and ability to march to a common goal toward outcomes is what makes us special.”
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