To understand what makes up a Health Information Exchange (HIE), a person must first understand what is considered health information.

Health Information is any medical information created or received by a health professional (your doctor or pharmacist, for example) and relates to the past, present, or future physical or mental health of a patient. So, if you are to go to your doctor for a checkup, health information would be created or updated based on that meeting.

An HIE is an organization that oversees the collection and secure exchange of health information. This coordination and sharing of information is crucial to the health of a patient. When a health professional doesn’t have the complete picture of a patient, a mistake can occur. It can also keep doctors and hospitals updated on the conditions and changes in a patient’s well-being, it can avoid problems with medications, and it can save patients with more severe medical issues from having to deal with paperwork, where in the past, they had to collect and carry to appointments.

The health information collected by an HIE is exchanged over a network. The Michigan Health Information Network Shared Services (MiHIN) is the network for Michigan. You can learn more about MiHIN here.

There are thirteen HIEs currently in the state of Michigan. You can find information on the other exchanges here.