DETROIT—The Greater Detroit Area Health Council and its partners, have launched Find MI Care, (www.findmicare.org), a website and mobile app that contains a searchable list of Michigan’s free and low-cost health clinics that can be used by patients, clinics, community members, hospitals, and health systems.
In collaboration with local partners and Media Genesis, a web-development company headquartered in Troy, the council conceived the idea for Find MI Care in response to the growing strain on Emergency Medical Services and emergency departments throughout the southeast Michigan region. Other partners on the project include Henry Ford Health System, DMC, St. John Providence Health System, Advantage Health Centers, Cabrini Clinic, the Michigan Primary Care Association as well as consumer representatives.
Because uninsured and Medicaid recipients continue to be among the highest percentage of emergency users, the council’s goal was to reduce emergency room visits and inpatient re-admissions by encouraging patients to seek follow-up care in more appropriate settings and to decrease inappropriate use of the emergency department for primary care-treatable conditions. Additionally, the misuse of emergency services creates a substantial financial impact and affects overall quality of care, which was a significant factor when considering the need for such a website.
“Building a resource that provides value and meets a community need requires collaboration and a team effort. GDAHC and its partners worked very hard to address a growing problem and the result is beneficial for the entire region,” said Kate Kohn-Parrott, president and CEO.
The Find MI Care website not only serves to reduce the strain on emergency departments, but is also a proactive step in matching individual needs with valuable, and often unknown, health care resources.
Hundreds of Michigan residents search for free and low-cost health care options on a daily basis, often out of necessity. Along with connecting residents-in-need with local health care providers, Find MI Care also lists the services offered at each clinic and identifies additional helpful information. In order to prepare patients with appointment expectations, Find MI Care includes information such as what languages are spoken at the clinic, hours of operation, transportation assistance options, and what to bring to an appointment.
What makes Find MI Care effective is the staff resources that are dedicated to monitoring changes in clinic information and to keep the website accurate and updated. A major problem that formerly plagued the low-cost, health care clinic industry was its inability to provide patients with relevant and up-to-date information. Find MI Care solves this problem because, unlike printed materials which are widely used throughout the industry, it is backed by a content management system and dynamic database, enabling GDAHC staffers to update it regularly. Additionally, the website also features a place where users can provide feedback if they do happen to find incorrect information on the website.
Find MI Care is available for both Android and iOS users and can be downloaded for free at the Google Play store and Apple App Store respectively. To view the desktop version, visit findmicare.org.
In celebration of the newly developed tool, GDAHC is hosting a launch party luncheon from noon to 1:30 p.m. June 26, at Habib’s Cuisine in Dearborn. The party luncheon is free to attend and requires that attendees pre-register at gdahc.org.