Michigan’s top health information exchanges join forces to form Great Lakes Health Connect

June 25, 2014 | 11:30 am

Merger creates one of largest HIEs in nation, offering participants unparalleled access to electronic health records

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. – Michigan Health Connect and Great Lakes Health Information Exchange have merged to form Great Lakes Health Connect, one of the nation’s largest providers of health information exchange, allowing hospitals, physicians and other medical professionals to quickly and securely share the health records of more than 5 million people.
Organization officials announced the merger here today, during a presentation at the Michigan Health & Hospital Association’s annual conference.

“The merger of these two leading organizations means Great Lakes Health Connect can provide unparalleled access to electronic health records for participants in Michigan and beyond,” said Doug Dietzman, executive director of the new organization and former executive director of Michigan Health Connect.

“Michigan Health Connect and the Great Lakes Health Information Exchange recognized that our missions were essentially the same and that we could better achieve our vision for a healthier Michigan together, rather than independently,” said Brian McCardel, M.D., orthopedic surgeon and chairman of the Great Lakes Health Information Exchange Board of Directors.

Patrick O’Hare, chairman of the Michigan Health Connect Board of Directors, added, “We look forward to advancing an integrated platform of services across the state and making Michigan a leader in the nationwide move to health information exchange and improved health status.”

The efficient exchange of electronic health records is key to the success of hospitals and other medical providers under national health care reform. Participants of the newly merged organization cover more than 80 percent of the hospital beds in the state and include more than 20,000 independent and employed providers serving over half the state’s 10 million people, more than any HIE in the state and more than most in the country.

“The depth and breadth of our network means we have the experience, resources and connections to initiate industry-leading advances in health information exchange on behalf of Michigan citizens,” Dietzman said.

Great Lakes Health Connect allows hospitals and physicians to access a patient’s health history across many different providers, including lab facilities, allowing ready access to vital information and eliminating the need to rely on patient memory. This improves the speed and quality of care provided.

Great Lakes Health Connect also provides real-time notification to providers for admissions and discharges from hospitals to nursing homes and other providers, to make sure complete patient information is transferred and the risk of readmission is lowered. Ultimately, Great Lakes Health Connect is focused on getting the right data to the right place at the right time to support the health and care of the people wherever they may be.

Michigan Health Connect and Great Lakes Health Information Exchange in January announced a Letter of Intent to pursue a merger. Their boards voted to approve the merger in May and the merger will be finalized July 1.

For more information about Great Lakes Health Connect see https://www.gl-hc.org.