East Hawaii Region Achieves Highest Level of Electronic Medical Records Adoption

Hilo Medical Center, the first state hospital in Hawaii Health Systems Corporation to implement an EMR in May 2010, has completed all 7 stages of HIMSS Analytics’ Electronic Medical Record Adoption ModelSM (EMRAM) in 2014. Achieving this milestone puts the East Hawaii Region of HHSC among the elite few hospital groups in the United States to have accomplished the highest level and final stage of EMR adoption. In doing so, HIMSS has acknowledged the hospital’s work to achieve “the pinnacle of an environment where paper charts are no longer used to deliver patient care.”


In May, Hilo Medical Center’s Hawaii Pacific Oncology Center (HPOC) implemented the MEDITECH Oncology 6.0x Electronic Health Record (EHR) system to advance cancer care.

“The electronic chart allows information to be at the fingertips of the community doctors that refer patients to HPOC,” said Julie Leach, HPOC Nurse Manager. “This will make it easier to collaborate in the care and treatment of our patients." 

“Implementing electronic medical records in HPOC benefits our patients and improves the cancer care they are receiving right here at home in Hilo,” said Dan Brinkman, East Hawaii Regional CEO of Hawaii Health Systems Corporation. “I congratulate Dr. Anthony Lim and HPOC’s staff for working with HMC’s HealthConnect team to achieve this milestone.”

“This completes our transition from paper to an electronic health record for the HHSC East Hawaii Region, a five-year project that has added many efficiencies to enhance patient care," said Kris Wilson, Regional Director of the Project Management Office.  “We are constantly striving to incorporate new technology and improve processes throughout the hospital and clinics." 

HPOC is the ninth and final clinic to migrate from paper to the MEDITECH EHR system and is a part of HMC’s family of outpatient clinics consisting of Cardiology, Ear, Nose and Throat, Hilo Bone & Joint, Hilo Surgical Associates, Hawaii Island Family Health Center, Neurology, Pain Management, and Urology. In FY 2014, our clinics had a collective total of over 39,000 patient visits.


As of April, patients who were seen at Hilo Medical Center, any of its outpatient clinics, Ka’u Hospital and Hale Ho’ola Hamakua in Honoka’a and were registered to access their health records at the East Hawaii Patient Portal  can pay their bills online. This added feature is free of charge and offers patients secure online access to view and pay itemized bills.

Over 2,700 patients have been enrolled in the East Hawaii Patient Portal since its launch in February 2014.  Patient Portal provides patients with access to their health summary including information on their hospital stay, current medications, laboratory and imaging reports, and educational materials reviewed upon discharge.

“The new online bill pay feature for our East Hawaii Patient Portal is one of the many ways we are working to utilize available technologies to improve the patient experience,” said Dan Brinkman, Interim East Hawaii Regional Chief Executive Officer of Hawaii Health Systems Corporation. “We’re providing our community the same secure online access to medical records and bill payment capabilities available across the country.”

“Members of our HealthConnect team, who built our electronic medical records system and the Patient Portal, worked extremely hard to launch this new feature,” said Money Atwal, East Hawaii Regional Chief Information Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Hawaii Health Systems Corporation. “This is another important milestone in our efforts to provide our patients price transparency, a meaningful explanation of the charges for services they received.”


On May 1, 2010, HMC transitioned to an EMR system aimed at improving patient care and safety and the hospital’s financial performance - Ka`u Hospital and