It to the rescue: increased access to information for patients and providers.
A year ago, the newly created Michigan Health Information Network (MiHIN) convened some 200 health care stakeholders to study ways to improve quality, safety and efficiency of health care delivery, by accelerating adoption and use of health information technology and health information exchange (HIE).
In December, MiHIN released the group's 115-page report outlining its plan of action. (To read the full report online, go to www.michigan.gov/mihin.) The report contains two major goals for the state:
* Evolve patient health records into a uniform format for all health care providers.
* Outline how the state can assist a regional approach to the integration of a statewide health information network.
"Michigan has the potential to make significant progress in the widespread usage of health information technology and the implementation of HIE, and this report provides the roadmap to get us there," says Janet Olszewski, director, Michigan Department of Community Health.
To support MiHIN's goals, the Legislature created the Michigan Health Information Technology Commission within the Michigan Department of Community Health. The 13-member commission meets monthly.
Lawmakers also earmarked $5 million to fund regional health information exchange projects in fiscal 2007. Eight exchanges are now in operation across. Michigan, including the Southeast Michigan Health Information Exchange and the Greater Flint Health Coalition.
"Although each region will have to demonstrate the ability to remain financially viable as they roll out their exchange, this start-up funding will provide the impetus and momentum to get their projects off the ground," says Dr. Tom Stevenson, chairman, Michigan Health technology Commission.