The broad-based ExtendedCare and Cloudbreak partnership has helped the Hawaiian health system better serve its patients
The Queen’s Health Systems has a long history rooted in their community, with the system’s first hospital founded in 1859 by Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV. Now, Queen’s has operated for more than 160 years as an intrinsic part of Hawaii’s culture. The health system includes a total of four hospitals and 70 healthcare centers and labs throughout the region. Queen’s commitment to their mission – as embodied in “The Queen Emma Way”– is evident in the team’s patient-first mindset. In 2019, Queen’s ranked as one of the nation’s best hospitals according to Newsweek.
“Instead of giving employees a list of ten things to do, we said, ‘If you just live the way Queen Emma lived, with her heart and acts of kindness, you will be true to the mission at Queen’s.’ So living The Queen Emma Way became very quickly a mantra that caught on.”– Wanda Sharp, Director of Patient Relations and Patient Experience for The Queen’s Health Systems
Read Wanda’s Interview
Geography poses a difficult challenge for The Queen’s Health Systems. Located on an island state far from the mainland, patients sometimes have to catch a plane to see their primary care physician. Distribution of resources across the islands is one of the system’s chief concerns. Additionally, Queen’s unique patient population vastly differs from the rest of the United States, with language requirements difficult for mainland-based partners to meet.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought even more limitations to the system’s already challenging care environment. Not only did the pandemic make the hospital system even more difficult to reach for geographically dispersed patients, but it affected patient morale as well. Restrictions in travel further isolated communities, while on-site visitation restrictions in care facilities isolated patients.
“Before we integrated Martti with ExtendedCare, if the doctor wanted a medical interpreter, you’d have to go and get an iPad, and then have a three-way conversation with the interpreter, the provider that’s on the computer, and then the patient and the providers that were in the room. We knew that needed to be addressed. So we asked Martti and ExtendedCare to integrate and provide a simple solution where we could invite a Martti Interpreter directly into the ExtendedCare telehealth visit.”– Burke Holbrook, Clinical Operations Manager of Telemedicine for The Queen’s Health Systems
The solution was to look to how their existing solutions might be leveraged in a new way – together. Queen’s already utilized telehealth built on the ExtendedCare platform. They were also already employing Cloudbreak’s Martti across the system in a number of departments. The next step was to put Cloudbreak’s interoperable solution inside of ExtendedCare’s Cisco-Webex based platform. The result was a combined, easy-to-use telehealth solution that included 24/7 access to more than 250 languages. The integration came just in time, as the health system kept pace with an increasing demand for virtual care that suddenly required more robust platform support.
“Before the pandemic, we were only seeing about 200 virtual patient visits a week, and growing. When the pandemic hit, we skyrocketed, and today we’re doing about 13,000 visits a month. We’ve grown in tremendous amounts, we’ve learned a lot,” reflected Holbrook.