New Electronic Medical Record for Mackinac Straits

ST. IGNACE – After nearly 13 months of collaboration and preparation, MyMichigan Health will extend its single electronic medical record (EMR) system to Mackinac Straits Health System (MSHS) and its physician offices throughout the Straits area. The new system will enable each patient to have one comprehensive medical record shared across the MSHS-employed providers and facilities who deliver their care. The project will also bring the health system onto the same platform for registration, scheduling and billing.

“We have experienced many benefits with this new system that we are excited to extend to Mackinac Straits,” said Dan Waltz, chief information officer, MyMichigan Health. “It puts consistent, shared information at the fingertips of our patients and providers for safer, more collaborative decision-making. It reduces the time to look up information and complete documentation, which improves provider productivity and satisfaction and lets them spend more time with patients. A single system will be a big improvement for providers and staff to use and will improve the quality of patient care.”

The software, contracted by Epic Systems Corp., a privately owned healthcare software company based in Verona, Wisconsin, will result in faster, more accurate communication and streamlined processes for safer, higher-quality patient care.

“We have titled this project ‘One Person, One Record’ because anywhere the patient goes within our system, a MyMichigan provider will have access to their full medical record,” said Robert Genovese, M.D., chief medical information officer, MyMichigan Health. “Even when patients travel outside of our system to others with Epic software, such as the University of Michigan, the medical record systems will talk to one another, making the exchange of information much easier and safer for the patient. For example, using a feature called ‘CareEverywhere’ we can pull up a patient’s records from other health systems and see what has already been done for them. This not only avoids duplicate testing, but also enables us to start treatment more quickly. ”

In addition to these benefits, the new system will enable patients to do many more things electronically in the future, such as schedule appointments online, self-check-in from home, take advantage of future virtual care options such as telemedicine and e-visits, and view and pay all bills from one account.

“I am proud of how our medical staff and employees have embraced this change while providing quality and personalized care to our patients,” said Karen Cheeseman, president and chief executive officer of MSHS. “EPIC provides the technology to support patient centered care. Our employees’ expertise, talents, and dedication to our patients will make this new level of care a reality.”

Patients will soon be receiving instructions in the mail for how they can prepare for the new system by activating their MSHS account, which they will use to communicate electronically with their providers, view their medical records and manage appointments, payments and prescriptions in the future. The MyChart portal will replace FollowMyHealth with a single electronic interface that patients can use for all of their online transactions and communication with MSHS.

Epic Systems is a privately-held company that makes healthcare software for mid-size and large medical groups, hospitals and integrated healthcare organizations spanning clinical, access and revenue functions. More than half of the U.S. population has medical information stored in Epic software. Clients include the Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins.

With the change to an electronic medical record, the MSHS team reminds its patients of the following:

  • For the safety of the patient, to endure date is correct and entered accurately into the new system, staff may take extra time to confirm existing information at the next visit. This additional time will prevent patients from having to complete repetitive forms in the future.
  • Large screen monitors in exam rooms and inpatient rooms will enable patients to view medical information alongside their provider. This is designed to improve accuracy and dialogue, allowing for patients to better understand their health and take action if necessary.
  • Activation codes will be provided on bills and after visit summaries, making it easier to sign up for an MSHS account. This account gives patients view health information, message their doctor, book appointments, pay bills and more.
  • Providers will have access to the same, consistent information health system wide. It will also be easier for providers to share information with other hospitals and doctors who partner in the patient’s care.

MSHS serves the Straits of Mackinac region with local access to high quality health care. MSHS is based at the St. Ignace Campus which includes a 15-bed Critical Access Hospital that houses a Rural Health Clinic, Oncology Clinic, Outpatient Surgical Center, Tribal Health Clinic, Straits Area Pharmacy, Emergency Room, Fast Care, Physical Therapy and a 48-bed long-term care facility (Evergreen Living Center). Other locations include Bois Blanc Island Medical Center, Mackinaw City Medical Clinic, Mackinaw City Specialty Clinic, Mackinac Island Medical Center, and the Rivertown Medical Clinic in Cheboygan. For more information on these locations and the services available, visit MSHS is affiliated with MyMichigan Health and is an equal opportunity provider and employer.