It's a common occurrence and one that frustrates both patients and doctors. Not having access to results of tests done in other facilities results in lost time and money and sometimes repeated tests.
This communication limitation within the healthcare industry is an issue Governor Granholm is calling on healthcare and information technology professionals to help fix. Director of the Michigan Department of Community Health Janet Olszewski says the goal is to bring a national goal into action in Michigan. That goal is to create a statewide health information network so that doctors in any medical facility throughout the state can have access to a patient's medical information.
Olszewski says it will improve patient care and reduce costs. Hundreds of professionals met today to discuss what they have in place now and what needs to be done in order to get the network going.
The total cost of the project is unknown at this time, but the national plan to create a health information system is estimated to cost $162 billion. Michigan health leaders say some federal funding will be provided to start pilot programs and money already spent on technology at individual facilities will be utilized.
Other states have similar initiatives, but none have created a statewide network as of yet.