Kona Community Hospital Receives Business Innovation Chamber of Commerce Award

Kona Community Hospital (KCH) received the Pualu Business Innovation Award from the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce at its annual Membership and Installation Luncheon on Friday, June 25. The hospital was selected for its excellence in enhancing patient care, employee development, marketing and customer service.

“We are honored to receive this award. We are excited that the everyday efforts of our employees, medical staff, volunteers and board members are recognized,” said Earl Greenia, Chief Executive Officer of Kona Community Hospital. He added, “We are advancing constantly and will continue to look for opportunities that will enhance our services.”

The hospital has become a community organization that “leads the way” and is the first to start new initiatives for the Big Island and the state.

The hospital is a leader in following evidenced-based medicine practices as reflected in their 2009 Core Measure scores. The hospital’s overall score in the fourth quarter of 2009 was 97% — over the last twelve months the overall score was 95%. Medicare uses the term “Core Measures” to refer to practices that assess a hospital’s compliance with standard practices for the treatment of specific medical conditions. Specific examples of Core Measures include the monitoring of clinical care for heart attack, congestive heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical practices, as well as processes used during admission and discharge to prevent accidents or complications.

On January 1, 2010, the hospital became the first hospital on the Big Island to function as a Level III Trauma Center (a facility that is able to provide resources for emergency resuscitation, stabilization, emergency surgery and intensive care of most trauma patients). This program improves the efficiency in direct patient care, as well as transfer times to definitive care facilities. Its primary goal is to improve outcomes for trauma patients in our community.

The hospital also participates in a state-wide collaboration to eliminate central line blood stream infections called CUSP (Comprehensive Unit Based Safety Program), has established a Tumor Board, partnered with Hawaii Pacific Health to provide the new Kona Ambulatory Surgery Center, digitized its Radiology films which drastically improves the quality of patient care by providing clearer images for physicians and enables them to provide quicker diagnosis, and has the industry’s best pharmacy Medication Information System which allows real-time monitoring of inpatient labs for the Pharmacist to provide improved medication deliveries.

KCH has implemented several programs to enhance employee development and skills, such as a Leadership Development Institute (a quarterly program for department directors), an Employee Lunch and Learn, and the West Hawaii Healthcare Leadership Series program (a 12-month educational series for healthcare professionals, including hospital staff, in the community to learn about relevant health care topics such as finance and organizational management. The hospital also has two youth programs called the Medical Academy of Science and Health (MASH) Camp and Junior Volunteer Corps (JVC) – a modern “candy striper” program.

In its marketing efforts, the hospital provides tours, community presentations, a physician office manager quarterly meeting (an opportunity for managers and staff of local medical offices to learn more about the hospital and its services; and how to work together to be more efficient) community education sessions on health topics such as heart health, cancer and diabetes, Ladies Night Out (one of the largest health fairs in our community that promotes health awareness), The Hope Event (an annual appreciation event for cancer patients, survivors and their families), CarFit (a program that provides senior drivers with skills and education in order to physically align themselves with their car, as well as be safer on the road) and community event participation.

“There are so many exciting innovations at KCH, it is hard to say which is the most important,” commented Liz Heiman Zagorodney, Chairman of the HHSC West Hawaii Region Board. “I believe it is the combination of improved fiscal responsibility, quality of care, employee satisfaction and improvements in the continuum of care for the community combined that qualify KCH for the Business Innovation Award.”

The hospital provides health services to the West Hawaii community 24 hours per day 7 days a week. They accept anyone who comes through its doors. The list of accomplishments encompasses initiatives and programs that help its community in a positive and innovative way. Other hospital facts include the delivery of 500 babies per year in the Obstetrics department and providing care to nearly 20,000 people on an annual basis in the Emergency Department.