Last month, the Michigan Health Information Network (MiHIN), the nonprofit statewide health information network, announced its partnership with PointClickCare Technologies, the largest post-acute electronic medical record vendor in the country.
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According to MiHIN, the partnership is meant to address the problem of many long-term care facilities and emergency medical service providers not yet being able to exchange real-time health data on the state’s network.
Tim Pletcher, Executive Director of MiHIN, told State of Reform that only Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan currently provides incentives for long-term care facilities to connect to the health information exchange (HIE), and since they only work with a certain segment of long-term care facilities, other facilities in the state have a harder time getting connected to the HIE. He said partnering with a vendor that has the electronic medical records of a major portion of facilities in the state will help address this issue.
Pletcher emphasized the importance of long-term care facilities being included in the digital healthcare ecosystem.
“We’ve been trying for a while to make sure we got [long-term care facilities] in,” he said. “But PointClickCare has really got some capabilities to make it one-button easy for those long-term care facilities to include their data and position them to be able to receive data back from everybody else.”
Pletcher also highlighted PointClickCare’s Emergency Department Optimization platform that will be offered to hospitals across the state of Michigan to allow emergency departments to access real-time patient data and support high-risk patients across the healthcare continuum.
“One of the things that we’re really interested in is working with the emergency departments around the state to be able to, when somebody shows up in the emergency department, really establish that connection between long-term care and the emergency department,” he said.
“That same tool also helps with lots of other tracking in social determinants of health. If there’s behavioral health issues, those can be presented to the person in the emergency department seeing that person for the first time, and because MiHIN has this [alerting feature] from when somebody’s been to a lot of other institutions, we can begin to make available in the emergency department a lot of that other information which could be incredibly helpful for triage.”
MiHIN and PointClickCare have requested for Michigan hospitals to provide feedback and input to the broader state health information network.
“Health information exchange brings [patient health care information] together, and creates this sort of focal point for integration around the patient to actually help healthcare as a whole be patient-centered,” Pletcher said. “[In] the patient doctor experience, everybody thinks of that patient as theirs, when in reality, that patient is part of a much larger ecosystem.
And then if you extend that to other things in that patient’s life, the [HIE] is really acting like a health data utility, and it’s starting to bring in connections to schools and connections to community programs and community services. It makes no sense to send you home from a hospital if access to food is a big challenge—you’re likely to come back for different reasons. [Making a smooth] handoff between the long-term care facility and the hospital with discharge planning is really, really important.”