Michigan to develop health information network

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Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm launched an initiative last week to create a statewide health information network.

She convened a group of 300 stakeholders from the health care, information technology, insurance, consumer protection and other sectors to help create an interoperable Michigan Health Information Network (MHIN) that will enable the exchange of electronic medical records.

The state’s Community Health and IT departments are spearheading the initiative.

“Banking, manufacturing and virtually all other industries have utilized information technology to expedite processes, improve quality and garner efficiencies,” said Janet Olszewski, director of the Michigan Department of Community Health, in a press release. “Health care in Michigan needs to make the same important leap forward.”

CyberMichigan, a division of the nonprofit Altarum Institute, received a $190,000 federal grant to help with the initial design, said T.J. Bucholz, spokesman for the community health department.

He said the stakeholders have been divided into work groups to determine the timeline of the network’s development and other information.

“One of the principal aims of the MHIN is to ensure that, as these [local health IT] initiatives multiply across the state, they are bound together by a common understanding of how data is to be shared, when it is to be shared and with what privacy protections it is to be shared,” said CyberMichigan’s president, Karen Bantel, in the press release.

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