Southeast Michigan Beacon Community Establishes BeaconLink2Health, a Health Information Exchange


DETROIT — The Southeast Michigan Beacon Community (SEMBC) announced today that it has started implementation of BeaconLink2Health, an all-new Health Information Exchange (HIE). BeaconLink2Health will deliver exchange capabilities previously unavailable in Southeast Michigan for healthcare providers to trusted, secure access to comprehensive patient electronic Protected Health Information (PHI) for improved patient care. This will be achieved through a community-level patient record of care.

Like most multi-stakeholder, community-based HIEs, BeaconLink2Health will provide connections that will enable trusted, secure sharing and exchange of patients’ electronic health records for all participating providers in the health care delivery system. This includes participating physicians, health systems and hospitals, physician organizations, other HIEs, laboratories, prescription benefit providers, and imaging centers.  What will make BeaconLink2Health different from other area HIEs is its unique capability to allow providers to access and analyze PHI on numerous levels – by individual patients, and for larger defined segments of the population.  These capabilities enable care providers to improve care coordination and quality and to deliver better patient outcomes and health status, not only for individual patients, but for these defined populations.

Through BeaconLink2Health, a participating emergency room physician will now have access to the patient’s health history report from his primary care physician (who also participates with BeaconLink2Health) who is affiliated with a different health system across town. This comprehensive point-of-care record is a significant improvement to patient care made possible through this new Health Information Exchange created for Southeast Michigan. 

“The strategy, architecture, and design for BeaconLink2Health is the product of collaborative efforts between the Beacon membership, and brings the best technologies for both data connectivity and end-user clinical-decision-support to our community,” said Leland Babitch, M.D., Chief Medical Information Officer at The Detroit Medical Center and Chair of the SEMBC HIE Implementation Workgroup. “We’re excited to have reached this point in our contracting and design processes, and look forward to the collective benefits associated with BeaconLink2Health.”

“As a Beacon Community, our objective with BeaconLink2Health is to help build and strengthen the health information technology infrastructure and exchange capabilities for our entire community that can deliver a new level of sustained care quality and efficiency for years to come.  BeaconLink2Health does that,” said Terrisca Des Jardins, Director of the Southeast Michigan Beacon Community. “This is something not previously available in Southeast Michigan that can help position our region and state as leaders in innovative solutions for the most pressing health care needs for years to come.” The Southeast Michigan Beacon Community is one of 17 Beacon Communities in the U.S.  established by The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to coordinate and implement advanced health information technology and health information exchange.

To execute the build and implementation of BeaconLink2Health, the Southeast Michigan Beacon Community has developed a unique multi-partner solution in which Medicity will manage the collection and exchange of PHI. Covisint will develop and manage the clinical data repository, community level evidence-based care gaps and alerts, single sign-on technology, and care coordination tools.  Combined, Medicity and Covisint will deliver unprecedented flexibility of trusted, secure access and analysis of comprehensive electronic patient records at the point of care.

“Electronic medical records have made a significant difference in the practice of medicine,” said Herbert Smitherman, M.D., SEMBC Executive Board Co-chair and Assistant Dean, Community and Urban Health, Wayne State University.” “BeaconLink2Health takes electronic patient information to a whole new level. I am very excited about having this this level of information available when developing care plans for my patients.”

Current BeaconLink2Health plans call for integration of physicians into the system beginning in the second quarter of 2012.