In November 2005, the GFHC and its broad‐based member organizations began evaluating opportunities and community interest in exploring the potential to develop a regional health information exchange (HIE). As GFHC partner discussions continued, members of the GFHC participated in the development of the Michigan Health Information Network’s (MiHIN) Conduit to Care Report and in February 2007, the GFHC applied for and received a regional HIE planning grant from the Michigan Department of Community Health. The objective of the 18-month planning project was to develop a feasible plan for the implementation, operation, and sustainability of a regional HIE in the state-designated Genesee Medical Trading Area of Genesee, Lapeer, and Shiawassee Counties that will follow adopted standards and demonstrate how quality of care will be improved in the communities involved.
Specific activities of the regional HIE Planning Project include:
- To identify among regional healthcare stakeholders interest, capabilities, and support for a HIE;
- To create a sustainable business plan for the HIE that includes sources for future funding;
- To identify the types of information initially and in the long-term that will be shared through the HIE;
- To educate the community, healthcare providers, and other pertinent stakeholders on the purpose and benefits of the HIE;
- To develop solutions that 1.) facilitate the identification, correlation, linking, searching, and access to patient-centric information; 2.) accommodate the sharing of information originating from numerous disparate systems, in multiple formats, and via a variety of technologies; 3.) account for scalability of the HIE as new providers, systems, and geographic areas are broadened; and 4.) ensure the most stringent privacy and security controls are in place to protect consumer privacy;
- To design the HIE for interaction with public health reporting; and
- To provide for interfacing with other HIEs in other Michigan regions.
While the GFHC’s 18-month regional HIE planning grant from the Michigan Department of Community Health ended in December 2008, Coalition leadership continues to evaluate opportunities to move into the implementation phase locally while collaborating with the Michigan Department of Community Health as it refines its statewide approach to implementing sustainable health information exchange(s).
In the Fall of 2011, the three Genesee County health systems – Genesys Health System, McLaren Flint, and Hurley Medical Center made a joint announcement of a shared regional health information exchange strategy in partnership with Michigan Health Connect (now Great Lakes Health Connect).
Currently, hospital, health plan, and physician organization partners from the Genesee County area and surrounding regions collaborate to improve health information exchange functionality and adoption in partnership with Great Lakes Health Connect, now the largest HIE in Michigan and one of the largest HIEs in the nation.
Interested partners or providers who want to learn more can contact the GFHC by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.