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Lakeland First in State to Implement New Immunization Record Workflow
Feb 20, 2017 Share

(ST. JOSEPH) – Lakeland Health, in partnership with Great Lakes Health Connect (GLHC), recently became the first hospital organization in Michigan to query patient immunization records held within the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR) directly from patients’ electronic medical records.

In 1996, the Michigan Legislature established a “childhood immunization registry” to be used as a comprehensive central repository for all children’s immunization records across the state. In 2006, the registry was expanded to include immunization records for citizens off all ages.  Licensed healthcare providers are required to report immunization information to MCIR, and it is then made available to healthcare providers, schools, licensed childcare programs, and Michigan’s citizens to inform care, reduce preventable disease, and lower instances of over-vaccination. Records contained in the MCIR database are accessible to registered users with appropriate credentials via a secure website portal.

To illustrate the value of more efficient access to immunization records, Kenneth O’Neill, MD, Vice President of Clinical Integration, Lakeland Health offered this example: “The Center for Disease Control recommends that adults over the age of 65 receive an annual vaccine to protect against Pneumonia. There are two competing vaccines in this class, but they cannot be administered within twelve months of each other. A patient may remember whether or not they have had a Pneumonia vaccine in the past, but they are not likely to know which one they were given. If this information doesn’t already reside in their electronic health record, the information can be found in the state repository. Prior to having the ability to query MCIR through our electronic medical record system, a provider would have to exit the EMR, launch a separate browser to get to the MCIR website, log into the database, search for the necessary information, then copy and paste it into the patient’s record back in our EMR system. This may seem like a relatively minor issue, but it interrupts the interaction with the patient at the point of care. Multiplied across many patients that can add up to significant wastes of time. GLHC’s Immunization Query functionality allows more time and greater attention to be focused on patient care. That, to me, is a home run.”

“Here at GLHC, we pride ourselves on solving real problems for our provider partners that have a direct and positive impact on the quality of the care they deliver,” said Doug Dietzman, Executive Director of Great Lakes Health Connect. “Our expanded capability with Immunization Query is a great example of this commitment. We are grateful for collaborators like Lakeland Health, and look forward to continuing to demonstrate the value of Health Information Exchange for our stakeholders across Michigan.”

About Great Lakes Health Connect

Great Lakes Health Connect (GLHC) is among the leading providers of health information exchange services in the nation. Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, GLHC seamlessly and securely facilitates the transmission of more than a billion messages annually across 129 health systems and nearly 4,000 primary, specialty, and allied care provider offices across the state. The community-based nonprofit is dedicated to improving the quality and accessibility of healthcare information by creating care-connected communities across Michigan and beyond. For more information, visit www.gl-hc.org

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