In the Media

September 30, 2013

Mahalo to all of our collaborators in our work to transform health care. Our project has wrapped up with the conclusion of the federal Beacon Community Program. The stories and program updates that are archived in this section illustrate our journey toward better health care and better health.

September 19, 2013
Hawaii pilot sees big decline in ER visits, hospital admissions

By Erin McCann
Healthcare IT News

Reports nearly 30 percent reduction in hospital admissions

A year-long home health monitoring and care coordination pilot in Hawaii has already seen marked results in reducing hospital admissions and patient emergency room visits.

The Hawaii Island Care Coordination Services on Wednesday announced the results of its pilot, which enrolled 78 high-cost, high-risk patients across the island of Hawaii. These patients all had complex care needs due to chronic diseases, such as diabetes, high cholesterol and were frequently admitted to the ER. The patients received the help of a care coordinator registered nurse and a health coach for a year. Forty-two of the 78 patients also received in-home health monitoring technology for that time.

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July 06, 2013
Beacon touts successes as 3-year grant program wraps up

By Erin Miller
West Hawaii Today

For the last three years, much of the publicity granted to the Hawaii Island Beacon Community has focused on how a federal grant has been helping island doctors make the switch from paper to electronic health records.

But during the same period, Beacon employees have been teaching doctors and their staff ways to be more effective in reaching and treating patients with chronic disease, said Susan Hunt, Hawaii Island Beacon Community CEO and project director.

The result? A limited study of 76 patients in Kona and Hilo showed that by increasing contact with care providers, providing medical equipment, such as blood pressure and blood sugar monitors, for patients to use at home on a daily basis, coaching on how and when to take medications and helping organize contact with family members to provide support and meeting transportation needs, half of participants showed health improvements. Those improvements included more than 50 percent recording decreases in blood pressure and 45 percent losing a significant amount of weight.

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April 22, 2013
Hawaii Island Beacon Community Ties Together Far-Flung Patient Population

By John DeGaspari
Healthcare Informatics 

Meeting a unique set of healthcare challenges on a Pacific island

As a geographically isolated region that is underserved by healthcare professionals, and with a high percentage of its population at risk for chronic diseases, Hawaii County has long-standing and serious challenges to efficient healthcare delivery. These barriers also made the region an ideal candidate for a Beacon Community grant, which would also serve as a challenging proving ground for the health information exchange (HIE) concept, and how well health information technology could bridge gaps in care.

In May 2010 the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT provided 36-month grant through the College of Pharmacy of the University of Hawaii at Hilo, which would result in the Hawaii Island Beacon Community (HIBC). The project’s funding period ended on March 31, 2013.

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