Michigan Physicians Benefit From HIPAA Compliant E-Prescribing

The federal government agency for health IT, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), has recognized Michigan as an early achiever, completing the first milestone in e-prescribing as determined by the State Health Information Exchange Grantee Recognition Program. According to Michigan.gov’s press release, 94 percent of Michigan pharmacies participate in e-prescribing.

In state and nationwide efforts to improve patient care by automating and streamlining health IT systems, e-prescribing is but one key cog in the machine. Physicians participating in the digital exchange of patient prescriptions with pharmacies strive to reduce the potential of human error throughout the diagnosis and treatment process.

A 2012 survey of EHR adoption found that 82 percent of doctors reported that e-prescribing saved time, and that 75 percent receive lab results faster, while 70 percent report noticed enhancements in data confidentiality. From a monetary perspective, benefits for larger hospitals can range from $37-59 million over a five-year period, incentives exempt, according to HealthIT.gov. The benefits of e-prescribing can be especially useful in Michigan – within the last year, major health systems have signed off on mergers intended to combine resources.

Any system exchanging electronic protected health information (ePHI) requires the support of HIPAA compliant hosting, infrastructure and trained staff. With health information data exchange and electronic health record (EHR) systems, managed HIPAA cloud servers can provide a viable solution with the ability to scale up and down quickly according to demand. The minimum technical security requirements for cloud servers to meet HIPAA include a virtual or dedicated firewall, backup, antivirus and OS patch management. Find out more about HIPAA hosting by reading our HIPAA FAQ.

As Michigan CIO David Behan recently stated during his speech, Reinventing Michigan Through IT, “…the state of Michigan is the ideal place for data centers.” The state of Michigan currently has three data centers located within 10 square miles of each other, and are seeking colocation and leasing space within the state. Michigan healthcare companies benefit from partnering with local Michigan data centers due to low operating costs and safety from natural disasters that East and West coast providers often experience, meaning PHI is both available and secure, ensuring no downtime for your organization.

Other Michigan health IT initiatives include the Michigan Health Information Network (MiHIN), the collaboration between Michigan’s sub-state health information exchanges (HIEs), Michigan’s insurer community and the Michigan government. The Michigan Department of Health was awarded $15 million by ONC’s State Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program to help establish and implement secure data sharing. Read more in Securing Data During Michigan’s Healthcare Upheaval.

Find out how to secure patient health information in our HIPAA Compliant Hosting white paper, or read our Mobile Security white paper for a case study of a successful mobile health (BYOD) hospital environment.

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The Effect of Michigan Health System Mergers on Health IT
Last year, Michigan saw widespread health system mergers, with a focus on the need to deliver integrated care. Part of the change may come from a shift in how healthcare is sold, meaning a switch from the traditional fee-for-service model … Continue reading →

References:
Michigan Recognized as National Leader in Use of Electronic Prescribing
State Health Information Exchange Program Grantee Recognition Program

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