Grand Rapids-based Michigan Health Connect and East Lansing-based Great Lakes Health Information Exchange announced today they have merged to form Great Lakes Health Connect, which will allow hospitals, physicians, and other medical personnel to share the health records of more than 5 million people.
“Michigan Health Connect and the Great Lakes Health Information Exchange recognized that our missions were essentially the same and that we could better achieve our vision for a healthier Michigan together, rather than independently,” says Dr. Brian McCardel, an orthopedic surgeon and chairman of the organization’s board of directors.
Participants of the newly merged organization cover more than 80 percent of the hospital beds in the state, and include more than 20,000 independent and employed providers — which is more than any health information exchange in the state, and among the largest in the country, says Doug Dietzman, executive director of the new organization and former executive director of Michigan Health Connect.
Great Lakes Health Connect will allow hospitals and physicians to access a patient’s health history across different providers, including lab facilities. It also provides real-time notification to providers for admissions and discharges from hospitals to nursing homes, which helps ensure complete patient information is transferred and the risk of readmission is lowered.
“The merger of these two leading organizations means Great Lakes Health Connect can provide unparalleled access to electronic health records for participants in Michigan and beyond,” Dietzman says.