Michigan officials are meeting with hospitals, insurance providers, physicians, universities and IT companies to lay the groundwork for a statewide health information system that would allow patient data, details about healthcare coverage and medical procedures to easily move between doctor's offices, hospitals and insurance companies.
''The doctors will have better information when you walk in the door, you won't have to answer as many questions over and over again, and, if you show up in the emergency room, they'll be able to collect information and know what you've been through,'' said Janet Olszewski, director of the Michigan Department of Community Health. Olszewski made her comments during a daylong meeting last week in East Lansing to discuss the creation of the Michigan Health Information Network.
Teri Takai, state Department of Information Technology director, hosted last week's meeting with Olszewski. She knows some people are leery of such systems and said the state will move slowly to make sure it's creating a secure system. Takai said she doesn't know when a statewide system could be in place. A handful of workgroups will begin meeting in January to research technology for maintaining health records electronically and develop recommendations that eventually will be presented to Gov. Jennifer Granholm.