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High-tech health care: Medical records become easily accessible, other services added

Updated: 
June 30, 2017 - 12:45am

HONOKAA — On June 22, Hamakua-Kohala Health launched Medfusion Patient Portal at their Honokaa and Kapaau health clinics. As one of the newest tech-savvy health care options in Hawaii, patients can now make appointments and view laboratory results and medical records from their homes online.

Milton Cortez, chief operations and information officer for Hamakua-Kohala Health, said they are rolling out the new program to make the clinic’s services more readily available.

“Health care facilities are under several guidelines. One essentially gives doctors money over five years to improve technology in their facility. This was one of them,” he said. “In the past, clients have had to request records from their doctors. For us this is the first phase in Hawaii.”

The next high-tech step will be enabling patients to use mobile devices for similar needs, using wearables such as a smartwatch or devices that measure the heart rate.

“That’s the 2021 vision for what we’ll need to be compatible with,” Cortez said. “We’re also moving into Telehealth. Essentially, patients will be able to make appointments online and, in the future, Facetime with their doctor. I saw it last month at a clinic in Boston that’s already doing this.”

Irene Carpenter, Hamakua-Kohala Health’s CEO, also sees the value of the tech upgrades.

“We are excited to partner with Medfusion and continue delivering health services to our Hamakua Kohala Coast communities,” she said. “Medfusion’s experience in providing access to patients via internet portals meets a goal set by our board of directors.”

Hamakua-Kohala Health has provided primary and preventative health care to the Hamakua Coast for 50 years, and the Kohala Coast for 10 years — regardless of ability to pay or lack of health insurance. They focus on behavioral health, pediatrics and weight loss, as well as substance use, disorder treatment and tobacco cessation programs with free nicotine replacement therapy medication.

To learn more about the new Medfusion Patient Portal, contact Milton Cortez at 930-2734 or go to www.hamakua-health.org.

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