Hawaii Beacon Infuses Health IT, Care Coordination With Aloha

Mary Mosquera | Government Health IT | August 27, 2012

Some patients on the island of Hawaii live in communities far apart from each other and from physicians and hospitals, with few methods of transportation except the family vehicle. Like other rural areas, this situation puts patients with diabetes and other chronic conditions at greater risk of costly hospitalization. The Hawaii Island Beacon Community is focused on improving care for individuals with complex chronic conditions to avoid hospital re-admissions and engage these patients to better understand and get involved in their care.

Physicians, community clinics and hospitals embracing electronic health records (EHRs) and health information exchange are critical to making that happen, according to beacon staff members, who spoke with Government Health IT at their office here in Hilo, Hawaii. The group has also engaged physicians to transform their practices to be more patient-centered. “The real need is for helping patients avert disaster” among those with advanced stages of diabetes and other chronic conditions and the populations behind them that indicate a similar path, said D. Michiko Fried, a nurse and managed care coordinator for Bay Clinic family health centers on the east side of the island...