For over 5 years, Curaçao Medical Center (CMC) which is situated on an island near a 10 hour flight from the Netherlands, has been successfully working with HiX. Over the course of those five years, CMC has transformed from a hospital working almost only on paper into a hypermodern hospital with the technological edge in the Caribbean. IT Manager Elmer Kwidama speaks on the remote collaboration and the goals of CMC: "HiX allows us to establish ourselves as an international hospital."

CMC first opened its doors five years ago. The 300-bed hospital, constructed to replace the adjacent Sint-Elisabeth Hospital started using HiX for the integrated electronic health records of all patients. Elmer Kwidama still remembers the transition vividly; "our previous hospital did not use an EHR, but a simple registration system in which patients' personal and billing details were registered. We kept primarily paper records. That meant that HiX is a completely new standard of working."

Excellent data exchange

The benefits of using HiX were immediately noticeable. Kwidama: "HiX is a well-integrated system in which all departments are connected in a single system which draws data from a single source of information. If you compare that to the old situation, in which each department maintained their own paper record, the difference is night and day. Now, consultants have immediate access to all information. ChipSoft has successfully adapted and integrated all our care processes in HiX."

Less manual registration

According to Kwidama, the integrated data exchange has decreased the number of manual registrations by the care providers. "Take the option to interface measurement devices with HiX, for example. In the past, we had to retype all the data from those devices on the computer, but not anymore. It's a lot faster now, and it minimises the chance of errors."

Another example is the ordering functionality in HiX. Kwidama: "Now, if we send an order to another department, all relevant patient details are immediately and correctly included in the order. This is managed perfectly in the EHR. The physicians tell me it's very user-friendly. There haven’t been complaints at all."

Newest HiX version

What's more, after the recent migration to the newest HiX version, the enthusiasm about the EHR has only increased. "The care providers and application managers said that the product improved again. Handing over patients from one department to the other is even more streamlined than before."

Very short transition time

The actual go-live was preceded by a rather intensive period. "We read up on all changed and new functionalities in the system. Our application managers travelled to the Netherlands to learn more. Next, we tackled the configuration. Despite some delays of a third party, we were able to start using HiX on the planned date. In the end, the migration was completed in a very short period."

Kwidama emphasises the joint effort. "This success is thanks to our entire team and the pleasant collaboration with ChipSoft. We wouldn't have been able to do this on our own."

Qualitative, clinical excellence

The new HiX fits seamlessly into CMC's strategic goals. "One of our goals is to keep providing high-quality, specialised care. The structured and user-friendly registration options available in HiX supports us in this regard."

International hospital

CMC also wants to put itself on the map as an international hospital. Kwidama: "We want to further improve our service for patients in the area. This primarily goes for patients of the BES islands (Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba) and the CAS islands (Curaçao, Aruba, and Sint Maarten). For the purpose of data exchange, it would be great if the hospitals on Bonaire and Aruba would also start using HiX."

But Kwidama goes one step further. "Think of patients from Miami, for example, who want to combine an intervention with a holiday on our island; we want to grow towards that, withe the help of HiX."

Pleasantly surprised

It does not bother Kwidama that this healthcare partner is 9,000 kilometres away. "Our collaboration with the supplier is very pleasant, both on the level of management and accounts. It's as if there's no distance between the supplier and us. That line of contact pleasantly surprised us, just like the high level of expertise regarding the EHR and the care processes exercised by the supporting consultants."

The benefit of time difference

Oftentimes, Kwidama even experiences the time difference as a benefit. "If our IT department submits a support request in the afternoon, it'll often already be responded to by next morning. So when we go to bed after a working day, ChipSoft is resolving issues for us", Kwidama laughs.

The IT manager is crystal clear about the future plans of the CMC. "We're going to release the patient portal and care provider portal. This will provide our patient population with an easier way to schedule appointments on their own and the patients will have more control over their own record and treatment."

Bonaire and Aruba

Kwidama is also currently in discussions with the hospitals on Bonaire and Aruba. "Recently, a delegation from Bonaire paid us a visit. They wanted to observe how we use HiX. We were able to directly show them the benefits, should they opt to use HiX as well. At this point, our application managers are very familiar with the EHR so we could even support their hospital in terms of application management."

A delegation from the hospital on Aruba is also scheduled to visit. Kwidama: "They are very interested in an English version of HiX, which is currently being tested in our hospital. We are happy to share our experience with them." *musing* "If both hospitals were to start using HiX as well... and the same PACS... the communication between the islands and the care in our region would definitely improve."

Available 24/7

All in all, the goals and ambitions of Curaçao Medical Center reach far beyond the island borders. "That's why it's even better that we can use an innovative, standardised EHR and count on a supplier that is available to assist us at any time of the day", Kwidama concludes.

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