Hawaii Pacific Health describes how it scored a third Davies Award for pop health innovations

In a HIMSS20 Digital session, the Honolulu-based health system explains how it "put the IT in capitation," and earned a first-in-the nation distinction for its technology-enabled improvements.
By Joseph Goedert
03:15 PM

Hawaii Pacific Health CIO Steve Robertson, left, and CEO Ray Vara, center, are honored for their third HIMSS Davies award by Hawaii Lt. Gov. Dr. Josh Green.

This past December Hawaii Pacific Health was recognized with a HIMSS Davies Enterprise Award for IT-enabled innovations to its population health management program, improvements in its nurse communication system and an analytics-powered reduction in readmissions.

It also notched the distinction of being the first three-time winner of the Davies Award, which recognizes outstanding utilization of health information and technology, since the program was launched by HIMSS in 1994.

Among other projects tackled at Honolulu-based Hawaii Pacific: initiatives to streamline care transitions, improve employee workflows, boost patient engagement and work toward quality improvements, cost savings and patient satisfaction.

Learn on-demand, earn credit, find products and solutions. Get Started >>

In a recent HIMSS20 Digital presentation, Davies Use Case: Putting the IT in CapITation, David Chow, director of business operations at Hawaii Pacific's Straub Clinic, and Dr. Sandra Noon, an internal medicine specialist there, showed how it leveraged an array of technologies to help build out its population health management efforts.

The health system had a lot of ideas about how to help ensure its growing patient base was able to get timely and effective care. Physician shortages and other systemic challenges were big hurdles. Hawaii Pacific put together cross-functional teams to build out telehealth and patient engagement tools that enabled it to stretch its resources without sacrificing quality.

At Hawaii Pacific, the organization aligned with the local Medicare Blue Cross insurer. That was a big step that meant moving away from the fee-for-service model and being held accountable for managing entire patient panels, which included keeping covered patients incentivized to work to improve their health, they explained.

The challenge was huge, since Hawaii Pacific was taking on 124,000 lives across a comprehensive capitated model that stressed patient wellness at the same time the organization wanted to focus on growing during the next five years, said Chow.

"We want to have 50 primary care providers in the next five years with a focus on quality care to a panel of 1,800 to 2,200 chronic care patients," he explained.

Consequently, a project management team of persons that included people in information technology, insurance, process improvement, organizational culture, clinicians, and operational and finance professionals, supported by electronic health record-based tools and data, started examining how workflows would operate, with 70 people figuring out the best ways for myriad workflows.

"Monthly meetings were established to oversee progress of workflows and best practices, then delivered to all providers," Noon explained. "Once workflows were established and tested, they went through an approval process before being sent out to appropriate clinicians."

Population health management enters an uncharted new era

This month, we look at how approaches to treating COVID-19 and other illnesses are shifting in this new era.

Email the writer: joe_goedert@yahoo.com
Healthcare IT News is a publication of HIMSS Media

Want to get more stories like this one? Get daily news updates from Healthcare IT News.
Your subscription has been saved.
Something went wrong. Please try again.