Overview of Health IT and the Commission

The Michigan Health Information Technology ("Health IT") Commission was created by Public Act 137 of 2006. The Health IT Commission is housed within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). The Commission's mission is to facilitate and promote the design, implementation, operation, and maintenance of an interoperable health care information infrastructure in Michigan.

What is health IT?

The United States Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) defines “health information technology” as a broad concept that encompasses an array of technologies. Health IT is the use of computer hardware, software, or infrastructure to record, store, protect, and retrieve clinical, administrative, or financial information. Health IT can include:

Additional Information on health IT

ONC provides additional resources and reports on health IT, such as:

What is health information exchange (HIE)?

ONC defines electronic health information exchange (HIE) as an ability for doctors, nurses, pharmacists, other health care providers and patients to appropriately access and securely share a patient’s vital medical information electronically—improving the speed, quality, safety and cost of patient care.

Despite the widespread availability of secure electronic data transfer, most Americans’ medical information is stored on paper—in filing cabinets at various medical offices, or in boxes and folders in patients’ homes. When that medical information is shared between providers, it happens by mail, fax or—most likely—by patients themselves, who frequently carry their records from appointment to appointment. While electronic health information exchange cannot replace provider-patient communication, it can greatly improve the completeness of patient’s records, (which can have a big effect on care), as past history, current medications and other information is jointly reviewed during visits.

How was the Health IT Commission formed?

In 2005, Governor Jennifer Granholm charged the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) and the Michigan Department of Information Technology (MDIT) with exploring the role of IT in healthcare transformation and improving care outcomes.

In 2006, MDCH and MDIT convened over 200+ stakeholders to develop a health IT strategic plan, called the Conduit to Care report. That same year, the Michigan Legislature enacted Public Act 137 of 2006, which establishes the Health IT Commission. After extensive stakeholder collaboration, MDCH, MDIT and the Health IT Commission oversaw the launch of the Michigan Health Information Network (MiHIN) in 2010.

How many members serve on the Health IT Commission?

The thirteen (13) member Health IT Commission is governor-appointed. The commission was first appointed in August 2006 and met for the first time in October 2006. Public Act 137 of 2006 outlines the requirements for each of the thirteen seats on the Health IT Commission.  

How can I participate in Health IT Commission activities?

The Health IT Commission convenes public meetings regularly throughout the year. All upcoming Health IT Commission meetings are made available through a public notice. MDHHS provides information about advisory committees, public meeting agenda, meeting materials and meeting minutes on this web page. Additionally, at each Health IT Commission meeting, a period for public comment is offered. Regular commission meetings are subject to the Michigan Open Meetings Act. 

Who can I contact for additional information?

Comments and questions about the Health IT Commission or requests for historical materials may be sent to Christopher Jackson at JacksonC47@michigan.gov.