Featured October 2, 2013 | ehrintelligence.com | Kyle Murphy, PhD, EHR Intelligence

While October 1 brought with it plenty of negative news surrounding the government shutdown, it proved to be a productive day for the Michigan Health Information Network Shared Services (MiHIN). The statewide health information exchange in the state made the most recent of two announcements yesterday, that expand its reach both within Michigan and beyond its borders.

First, MiHIN reached an agreement with the Southeast Michigan Beacon Community (SEMBC), one of 17 communities chosen by the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) as model for healthcare reform and patient-centered care through the adoption of EHR and health IT systems.

Per the agreement, participants in SEMBC’s HIE, BeaconLink2Health, gain access to MiHIN services and solutions:

• Public health reporting

• Admit/discharge/transfer (ADT) notifications

• DIRECT technology

“Our agreement with MiHIN enables BeaconLink2Health to deliver a powerful combination of practice and physician-level Health Information Technology and Exchange capabilities enabling better, more informed care, while at the same time facilitating population health management and reporting that is essential to physician organizations, health systems, Accountable Care Organizations, and Organized Systems of Care,” Terrisca Des Jardins, Director of the Southeast Michigan Beacon Community, said in a public statement.

Second, the East Tennessee Health Information Network (etHIN) announced it would be adopting MiHIN’s web service Health Provider Directory in order to create a provider directory for its members. According to the announcement, the directory will be accessible statewide and nationwide for providers participating in MiHIN or etHIN.

“The health provider directory essentially serves as the road map for exchanging health information electronically,” Leigh Sterling, etHIN’s Executive Director, said in a public statement.  “It captures the technical and addressing information required to route data from one health care provider to another, which allows providers to improve and coordinate care for their patients when sharing patient records.”

The motivation for the move comes from that fact that several hundred individuals were found to have both Michigan and Tennessee addressed, something which is also true of other states that attract state residents (i.e., snowbirds) to warmer climates (e.g., Florida). The web service allows their patient information to follow them as they move between the states.

“The idea is that the right patient information, delivered to the right provider at the right time in the provider’s preferred format, improves the entire health care system across the board,” added Sterling. “The Health Provider Directory is a foundational part of that solution.”

Over the past year, MiHIN has proven itself a major player in HIE by forging connects with other health information organizations, providers, and payers to expand its coverage and streamline the flow of health information both securely and efficiently.