Growing network boosts Great Lakes Health Connect’s national stature

July 21, 2015 | 4:18 pm


Growing network boosts Great Lakes Health Connect’s national stature
Michigan’s largest health information exchange helps guide companies across country

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – Great Lakes Health Connect (GLHC), the leading Health Information Exchange in Michigan, recently surpassed a goal to have 1,000 medical practices using its closed-loop Referrals application and will soon link 1,000 provider practices to the state’s immunization registry.

This growth comes on the heels of the recent announcement that GLHC has surpassed 1 billion health information transactions annually, making it one of only a few health information exchanges in the country to achieve this kind of volume.

“Achieving this critical mass of providers and health systems participating in these efforts using the Great Lakes Health Connect network means we can provide secure data connections that are unparalleled in scope,” said GLHC’s Executive Director, Doug Dietzman. “Ultimately that means better health care for all patients being served by participating providers. I am extremely grateful to the entire GLHC team, our partners, and supporters, for all of their efforts in contributing to our successes today, and in the future.”

Robert Steffel, Executive Director of The Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC), the national trade association for health information exchanges, noted the significance of the billion messages achievement. “Very few health information exchanges in the country have reported transaction volumes that come close to the amount GLHC has now achieved. We are very happy that GLHC is participating in SHIEC and sharing their expertise in the health information exchange arena with others across the country.”

Key to those insights is how health information exchanges can succeed based on member fees, not outside funding.

“With a fully self-sustaining business model – built around providing value to stakeholders and without taxpayer or other grant funding – Great Lakes Health Connect is a beacon leading the way in health data exchange,” said Brian Ahier, Medicity Director of Standards and Government Affairs. “Over 6.5 million unique individuals’ data are in the network, and the current monthly transaction volumes, representing an annual processing rate of over 1 billion messages per year,  is an outstanding accomplishment.”

“Great Lakes Health Connect’s Referrals application has allowed Mercy Health Physician Partners to electronically send details and records on each referral, eliminating the need for phone tag”, said Carrie Strom, Network Referral Manager with Mercy Health Physician Partners.

“The system has allowed our primary care offices to better track their referrals for follow through, and has given our specialty offices a way to sort and pace their incoming referral volume. The Referrals application has become an indispensable tool throughout our network,” Strom added.

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About Great Lakes Health Connect:

Great Lakes Health Connect (GLHC) is among the leading providers of health information exchange services in the nation, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. GLHC seamlessly and securely facilitates the transmission of more than a billion messages a year across 126 health systems and nearly 4,000 primary, secondary and allied care provider offices across the state. The community-based nonprofit is dedicated to improving the quality and accessibility of healthcare information for more than 6.5 million patients. For more information, visit GLHC online at