Michigan Announces $4.5 Million in Health Information Technology Exchange Grants

"When fully implemented, these Health Information Exchanges (HIE) will allow healthcare organizations within a community to instantly move clinical information between disparate healthcare information systems while maintaining the meaning of the information being exchanged."

by / June 29, 2007

The Michigan Departments of Community Health (MDCH) and Information Technology today announced more than $4.5 million in funding that will create a statewide infrastructure for healthcare information exchange that will streamline the sharing of medical information throughout Michigan.

The funding will help make Michigan the first state in the nation with a program of this magnitude to streamline medical information in the state. The program clearly illustrates Michigan's move toward becoming the nation's leader in the health IT field said Janet Olszewski, MDCH Director.

"When fully implemented, these Health Information Exchanges (HIE) will allow healthcare organizations within a community to instantly move clinical information between disparate healthcare information systems while maintaining the meaning of the information being exchanged," Olszewski said. "The goal of the HIE concept is to facilitate access to and retrieval of clinical data to provide safer, more timely, efficient, effective, equitable, patient-centered care."

Funding for the program, first introduced by Governor Jennifer M. Granholm in her FY07 Executive Budget, was appropriated by the Legislature for FY07. Regional partners awarded grant funding in this first cycle include:

  • Alliance For Health (includes Mason, Lake, Osceola, Oceana, Newaygo, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Ottawa, Kent, Ionia, Barry, and Allegan Counties) - $379,565
  • Altarum Institute (includes Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, St. Clair, and Monroe Counties) - $658,356
  • Capital Area Health Alliance (includes Ingham, Eaton, Clinton Counties) - $775,350
  • Central Michigan University Research Corporation (includes Clare, Gladwin, Arenac, Isabella, Midland, Bay, Gratiot, Saginaw, Bay, Tuscola, Sanilac, and Huron Counties) - $304,900
  • Greater Flint Health Coalition (includes Genesee, Lapeer, and Shiawassee Counties) - $359,475
  • Marquette General Health System (includes all Upper Peninsula Counties) - $756,119
  • Michigan State University (Formation of HIE Resource Center) - $999,971
  • North Central Council of the MHA (includes all counties in the northern Lower Peninsula) - $267,648

"We have worked closely with the healthcare industry here in Michigan to apply technology to promote health information exchange and it is very exciting to see our regional partners receiving this grant funding," said Teri Takai, Director of the Michigan Department of Information Technology (MDIT). "We will continue to work to speed the adoption of health information technology so that citizens can reap the benefits and so that the quality of healthcare continues to improve."

The grant funding also funds the creation of the state's Michigan Health Information Network (MiHIN) Resource Center, which assist regional HIE efforts across the state, focusing on daily activities in order to increase the adoption rate and successful implementation of regional HIEs across Michigan, Takai said.

The MiHIN Resource Center will have full-time staff that will coordinate tasks and deliverables to the regional HIEs and MDCH. The Resource Center will be responsible for working with MDCH, other State of Michigan entities and national resources.

The Resource Center will provide assistance to regional HIEs including, but not limited to: interpreting legal statutes, representation at state and national levels, identification and promotion of standard policies, procedures for HIE operation, governance, and financing as well as for technological infrastructures and education and awareness about HIE in the state, national initiatives and standards.

The role of the MiHIN Resource Center is to assist regional HIE efforts across the state, focusing on daily activities in order to increase the adoption rate and successful implementation of regional HIEs across Michigan, Olszewski said.

The funding of this initiative was first recommended in December 2006 when MDCH released a Michigan Health Information Network (MIHIN) report that outlined a plan to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of health care delivery by accelerating adoption and use of health information technology and health information exchange (HIE).

Granholm then charged MDCH and MDIT with bringing together Michigan's health care and business stakeholders to develop a vision and plan for the future of health information technology and exchange in Michigan.