Michigan doctors treating patients from Indiana, and Indiana physicians treating Michigan patients, can now securely exchange health records thanks to a new partnership between Michigan Health Connect (MHC) and Michiana Health Information Network (MHIN).

MHC, the state’s largest health information exchange (HIE), and MHIN, an HIE and healthcare IT company serving medical providers and institutions in Michigan and Indiana, are partnering to share information that is vital to patient health, the organizations announced.

Both HIEs are uniquely positioned to expand secure communication across state lines. Earlier this year, Michigan Health Connect implemented secure exchange with Ohio, and Michiana Health Information Network established a cross-state immunization exchange with the Michigan Care Improvement Registry. Both plan to grow interstate connectivity with HIEs across the nation as national standards and protocols evolve. The partnership replaces non-electronic communications with faster, more comprehensive, standardized, HIPAA-compliant electronic messaging among authorized physicians and personnel.

“This connection to Michigan Health Connect allows important health information to follow patients, regardless of geography,” Tim Roberts, CEO of Michiana Health Information Network, said in a statement. “As an HIE that rests near the border of two neighboring states, it is so important for us to extend our mission to those patients who cross these borders for care every day.”

Doug Dietzman, executive director of Michigan Health Connect, added such collaboration between states provides more timely and efficient care for patients, giving physicians current and historical health information that can speed diagnosis and treatment. “We know people seek care and providers work with hospitals and other providers across state lines. Health information exchange cannot stop at artificial county, state, or regional boundaries, but must follow patients and the providers who care for them to ensure the best possible quality outcomes and efficiency.”