Hawaii HIE Supporting A Diverse Health IT Ecosystem

Anthony Brino | Government Health IT | December 19, 2012

Hawaii was one of the last states in the U.S. to adopt Direct secure messaging services, said Christine Sakuda, executive director of the Hawaii Health Information Exchange, but in the past few years, providers and physicians on the state’s seven islands have embraced electronic health record systems, through a mix of public and payer incentives.

Prior to 2010, there was not much information exchange among providers in Hawaii. Sakuda estimates that about a quarter of the state’s 1,200 primary care physicians had EHR systems when the HIE was launched in 2010, as the state-designated entity through the Office of the National Coordinator cooperative agreement program.

“Now that number is closer to a full-third to half. There’s been a lot of progress made,” she said, with meaningful use and HITECH Act grants. The Hawaii HIE recently went live with secure messaging using the Direct Project protocols, and it is starting to help fill a gap in Hawaii’s unique health system, linking the smaller islands to the hospital hub of Honolulu. The HIE has about 400 users on the Direct messaging system and in its next phase plans to focus on interface development and sharing clinical summaries...