Michigan Medicine will receive approximately $2.5 million for completing a statewide incentive program to improve patient safety, enhance data integrity, and reduce workflow. The program, Common Key Service (CKS), provides a consistent and reliable way to match patients with their electronic health data across multiple healthcare settings by assigning a unique identifier for every patient in the state of Michigan.
“If you are on vacation, you can access your bank account fairly easily from any computer. However, if you are on vacation and need to go to the hospital, it’s much more difficult to access your health record,” said Myron Hepner, senior director for Health Information Technology & Services. “Health systems use different computer systems and nomenclature which significantly complicates their ability to match the right information to the right patient.”
Errors can and do occur, potentially resulting in higher healthcare costs and less than optimal patient care.
“CKS allows participating organizations to store and share a unique patient identifier, enabling care providers to match data to a patient with absolute certainty,” Hepner said. “By leveraging health information from multiple sources – other hospitals, specialists, clinics, pharmacies, or skilled nursing facilities – care providers get a more complete and current view of their patients.”
This is especially important in a large health system like Michigan Medicine, which sees patients from every county in the state of Michigan – many of whom are referred by other hospitals.
CKS is sponsored by the Michigan Health Information Network Services (MiHIN) and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM). Other participating organizations include Bronson Health, Henry Ford Health System, Metro Health, and Trinity Hospitals. More are expected to join as a result of BCBSM’s pay-for-performance (P4P) program which recognizes hospitals that excel at care quality, cost-efficiency, and population health management. Since 2014, Michigan Medicine has earned roughly $13 million in P4P incentives for health information exchange (HIE) related work.
Programs like CKS and P4P rely on HIE, which enables healthcare providers to appropriately access and securely share a patient’s vital medical information electronically. Michigan Medicine’s participation directly supports its clinical strategy to secure access to 3.5 million lives statewide.
“Michigan Medicine sees many patients who do not get their primary care here. The infrastructure we are building allows us to obtain data on patients who receive care outside of our enterprise, which we can then leverage in many meaningful ways,” Hepner said. “Through this work, we are enhancing patient care and safety by sending, receiving, and consuming clinical data in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.”