Four things to love about health information exchange in Michigan

Written by: Emmalilly Hoxsie

Most Michigan patients and citizens are blissfully unaware of the heath information exchange (HIE) infrastructure and products being built, maintained, and improved across the state. The everyday person knows little of HL7, EMR interfaces, and the impact that the move from volume to value is having on the workflow of the entire healthcare industry.

All the while, two organizations in Michigan are building the technical infrastructure and client facing products to ensure that healthcare providers and organizations have secure, real-time access to essential clinical information about their patients.

These organizations are Great Lakes Health Connect (GLHC) and the Michigan Health Information Network (MiHIN). After years of light flirting and the occasional cold shoulder, these two organizations have officially “swiped right” on each other. Their anniversary is December 31, 2019.

In 2020, GLHC and MiHIN will integrate operations and products. This marriage is good news for both the people of Michigan and the organizations responsible for their healthcare.

Learn more about the happy couple by visiting their wedding websites, and If you would like to purchase something off their registry … just get a flu shot instead.

In an effort to share in their happiness, here are four things to love about health information exchange in Michigan:

One: Powerful Services and Solutions

The services and solutions provided by GLHC and MiHIN help healthcare organizations improve patient care by: identifying gaps in care, automatically sending immunizations to MCIR, coordinating healthcare, delivering tests results, informing patient care, and more. Organizations can tailor almost everything to fit into unique workflow and to solve complicated healthcare data communication problems. No matter what the challenge, we will help you find a solution.

Two: Collaborative Spirit

The journey for statewide interoperability began nearly 15 years ago. The road has been bumpy and filled with dead-ends. Yet, GLHC and MiHIN have built and maintained strong relationships with healthcare organizations across the state and the continuum of care. Over 100 hospitals and 4,000 primary, specialty, and allied care organizations are working together to exchange essential clinical information and make it available to providers at the point of care. The network is only possible because of the innovative, supportive, and intentional leadership coming from these healthcare organizations. By putting differences and competiveness aside, healthcare organizations of all shapes and sizes are now better able to serve patients long-term.

Three: Talented Health IT professionals

Healthcare is a deeply personal subject. Everyone has our own healthcare story, punctuated by interactions and experiences, both good AND bad. Those who work in healthcare are no different. Our dual role as both consumer of healthcare services and provider of health information technology makes us acutely aware of the importance and value of high quality care; and no one better recognizes the challenges involved and the frustrations when the system falls short.

With a combined team over 200 professionals and interns, we pride ourselves aligning all activities to our mission and core values. This intense focus helps us excel as the state leader in health information exchange. We believe that when organizations and people are intentionally connected, both the community and individuals are healthier and better prepared for the future.

Four: Support from State Government

GLHC and MiHIN work closely with state and federal government to ensure Michigan’s information-sharing efforts meet local and regional needs while aligning with national standards.

GLHC is working closely with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to increase electronic referrals to Diabetes Prevention Programs from Primary Care Practices. These programs are often provided by community organizations and they help patients lower their risk of diabetes and improve overall health.

MiHIN and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services collaborated to create the first data sharing “use case”. In production today, this use case allows for the electronic submission of immunization information to the Michigan Care Improvement Registry, the state’s immunization information system.

To Have and To Hold

We know that the GLHC and MiHIN relationship status has been “complicated” in the past. In 2020, we are doing everything possible to listen to the healthcare community, to be thoughtful in our actions, and to stay true to our core values. We cannot wait to show Michigan how much we LOVE health information exchange in 2020!

Roses are red, violets are blue, HIE will make our interoperability dreams come true.