Modern health records

Local health officials say a new system that shares information electronically will benefit patients and physicians.
Krystle Wagner
Jan 19, 2013


The North Ottawa Community Health System recently joined Michigan Health Connect, a health information exchange provider that presently connects 57 hospitals, 1,551 medical offices and more than 7,000 individual health care providers throughout the state.

Jen VanSkiver, spokeswoman for the North Ottawa Community Health System, said the initiative will increase efficiency and security, and relieve stress for patients who see more than one physician and oftentimes will need to repeat information.

“This is definitely an improvement,” she said.

Prior to using Michigan Health Connect, test results sent to a physician's office would be placed into a paper file or scanned into an electronic medical record.

VanSkiver said Michigan Health Connect is a more efficient mode of transmitting such information.

“It means doctors will get results almost instantaneously,” said Joe Abbott, director of information systems for the North Ottawa Community Health System.

The first phase of the new service will allow test results and medical records from hospitals be sent to primary care physicians. Abbott said they plan to have that up and running in the spring.

The next step would allow physicians to send orders — such as requesting patients have laboratory tests or other services completed — to the hospital.

Down the road, another step in the process includes a virtual patient record service that would allow a patient’s entire medical history to be accessed by any Michigan Health Connect member.

Although the information will be available electronically, Abbott said the system is safe and provides confidentiality by requiring authenticating user log-ins in a secure site.

“Security is an underlying principle concern,” he assured.



What good does it do IF the people that are responsible for transferring information DO NOT send it all? Example as to what meds are you allergic to? It has happened to me where the doctor did NOT read the info and sure enough an iodine base was applied. Than my daughter just in the past couple of weeks had a procedure fortunately not a North Ottawa but only two of the meds were posted that she was allergic to and guess what? The med she was allergic to was PRESCRIBED to her and after coming back to town as the order still wasn't ready at a local pharmacy DISCOVERS from the PHARMACIST that the drug that the doctor prescribed was one she was allergic to. SO, another day goes by with my daughter in lots of pain due to SOMEONE NOT READING ALL of the ALLERGIC MEDS! THANK GOD FOR PHARMACISTS! Sorry but I am NOT impressed with all of this digital nonsense that is supposed to be more helpful but it has to be used PROPERLY and EFFICIENTLY!


Guess the losers who go from hospital to hospital looking for narcotics will have to find a new way around the system now!


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