Michigan Vendors Collaborate on HIE-Compliant SDOH Interoperability

Michigan Vendors Collaborate on HIE-Compliant SDOH Interoperability

Hosted by the nonprofit Michigan Health Information Network (MiHIN), the statewide health information exchange, the new collaborative community of practice focuses on creating a path for master data to flow interoperably between platforms.


Eight platform providers serving health and social organizations in Michigan have begun work on strategic data governance to create a trust mechanism, with appropriate safeguards, to facilitate exchanges of health care information that improve the coordination of holistic care.

The community of practice seeks to help the HIE break down information silos. The initial goal of the CoP is to create the pathway for referral data to flow interoperably across platforms to support a shared mission to support community-led systems of care.

“Advancing the use and interoperability of social services data is fundamental to improving the health and well-being of all individuals and communities,” said Dr. Tim Pletcher, DHA, Executive Director of the MiHIN.

“The MiHIN is so proud to bring together a group of social care leaders who not only recognize the gap between services needed and services provided, but who are dedicated to closing the loop and freely sharing meaningful data.”

One of the challenges collaborators will face is the flow of data with some of the social care organization systems that defy technical feasibility.

Care Advisors, Findhelp, PCE Systems, Riverstar, Unite Us, and WellSky, who previously pledged to work with each other to facilitate data aggregation to inform state policy and quality review, were joined by CareConvene and Holon to form the CoP.

While Michigan’s HIE will serve as a trusted health data exchange broker, service providers can use or maintain any electronic health records system they choose.


The partnership is expected to provide participating hospitals in Michigan with unprecedented context about emergency department patients at the point of care, according to the collaborators’ initial engagement.

Having information when a patient arrives at the emergency room is a barrier to coordinating care and improving outcomes. Public health data silos that are disconnected from state health exchanges became evident early in the COVID-19 pandemic with the lack of interoperability between the Centers for Disease Control and the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System.

“If a doctor orders a COVID-19 lab test on one of his patients, the doctor would get the result from the lab and it would be sent to the NNDSS system. But if that patient later developed symptoms that worsened and ended up in the ER, those physicians would not have access to the lab results unless the original provider and hospital were connected to the HIE,” wrote Michael Gagnon, executive director of HealthHIE Nevada, in May 2020 for Health Informatics News.

Gagnon warned that if investments in public health lead to larger silos of health information, “we will have missed the mark in truly improving our health care system.”

He called for investing in interoperability that connects all providers, hospitals, nursing homes, insurance companies, state and local governments, public health and patients who need access to medical records. – via the HIEs.

The MiHIN seems to be organizing in this direction. In September, the Great Lakes State Health Exchange also announced that it was pursuing post-acute care interoperability through a partnership with cloud-based PointClickCare.


“Each respective organization dedicates considerable time, energy and human capacity for the benefit of the public. In the same way that trust must be facilitated between patient and provider to adequately and accurately capture the overall picture of a person’s health, the CoP strives to foster trust between provider organizations. health care and social services, and with each other as businesses in a competitive environment. and currently unregulated space. said Lisa Nicolaou, director of the cross-sector data program at MiHIN

Andrea Fox is the editor of Healthcare IT News.
Email: afox@himss.org

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS publication.

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