A data sharing deal was recently signed between the East Hawaii Region of Hawaii Health Systems Corporation (HHSC) and the Hawaii Health Information Exchange (HIE) to improve access to quality care for an estimated 10,000 patients in the East Hawaii region.
With a relatively small pool of specialists on Hawai‘i Island, access to quality specialty care has been an ongoing challenge for Hawaii Island residents. Yet, even when these residents travel to Oahu or Maui to see a specialist, there can be no guarantee their current health records are readily available, making a diagnosis difficult without ordering a new set of tests. This translates into wasted time and money, and delayed treatment.
The East Hawaii Region of the HHSC includes three major hospitals: Hilo Medical Center, Hale Ho‘ola Hamakua and Ka‘u Hospital. The three East Hawaii hospitals are joining with other major hospital systems that are already connected to Hawai‘i HIE’s encrypted system. Altogether, the participating hospitals account for one third of the licensed hospital beds in the state.
After conducting testing and re-testing, physicians and other healthcare professionals within the East Hawai‘i region will be able to electronically share selected health information with their colleagues and with other providers in the state who have signed data sharing agreements. Through a service called Health eNet, a service of Hawaii HIE, authorized participating providers will be able to send queries to gain access to information such as a patient’s medical history, lab results or prescription medications to make sound clinical decisions when developing a plan of care or treating patients.