The Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS) is emerging as a leader in the development and adoption of Health IT by creating a physician network that, once fully implemented, will connect some 15,000 physicians across the state. With the enormous benefits patients and doctors can gain from increased Health IT adoption (think cost savings, higher quality care, and increased access to healthcare), MSMS is setting an innovative example other hospitals and providers would be wise to follow.
In recent years, a growing number of organizations, physicians, hospitals, states and even legislators have begun to realize the advantages of increased Health IT adoption—made possible by broadband investment. We need to turn that realization into action just as MSMS is taking the initiative to connect physicians across the state, so they can communicate and share information instantly.
The system MSMS is developing is much like a health information portal, where physicians can access applications that allow the transfer of important data, such as health records and lab results, and enable e-prescriptions that reduce costs and medical errors. These capabilities will provide better, more reliable healthcare services to patients across Michigan and serve as an example for next-generation healthcare across the U.S.
The promise of Health IT and telemedicine is far-reaching. At a time of extensive debate surrounding healthcare in the United States, programs such as those being implemented in Michigan can provide a model to the rest of the country with the help of broadband.