Currently there is no authoritative, statewide directory of health care providers in Michigan. Instead, multiple organizations collect similar demographic and contact information in isolated directories, often using different methods to uniquely identify each provider. Unfortunately, NONE of these existing directories include the necessary information to send secure electronic data to your provider.
So if your physician needs to send medical information to a specialist outside your physician’s normal referral pattern, it’s not a straightforward process. Even after locating the correct practice (Dr. John or Jonathan Smith at General Hospital?), your medical information will likely be faxed to the specialist. Fax information must then be manually re-entered or scanned, either of which could result in mistakes or misread data, so Dr. Smith would not know your history, allergies, or current medications. At best this could result in a wasted visit or repeats of prior tests, and at worst it could mean Dr. Smith unknowingly prescribes a treatment that may conflict with your current medications.
Building a Solution
MiHIN has developed a comprehensive provider directory that contains the necessary information to allow providers to securely communicate and exchange patient information, and that allows a level of Provider Relationship Management™ (PRM) previously unavailable with existing solutions. In addition to providers, the MiHIN directory contains other caregivers that patients will likely encounter when seeking treatment, such as nurses, lab technicians, office staff, and care coordinators. This ensures that people who should have access to patient information can get it, as allowed by the patient. The directory also contains each provider’s preference for document formats to ensure seamless integration between offices.
Provider Directory at a Glance
The Provider Directory is a foundational service within MiHIN’s road map to standardize electronic communications among providers and anyone empowered to access protected health information. The directory helps enable a variety of services such as Provider Relationship Management, routing, role, identity, translation, legal status, and more.
How is the Directory Built?
MiHIN has worked closely with the state of Michigan, Michigan’s Health Information Exchange (HIE) Qualified Organizations (QOs) and other qualified organizations to build the provider directory. MiHIN is responsible for maintaining the directory while the HIE QOs and other qualified participating organizations are responsible for submitting provider information to populate the directory.
Each organization providing information has a validation process to prove the identity of each provider submitted. Individuals may make updates in certain fields, but many fields can only be updated at the organizational level. Individual providers and organizations may declare their delegations and their communication preferences in the directory.