Health officials launch RHIO electronic records exchange

Lansing, MI – Physicians and hospitals in Mid-Michigan will soon have the option of switching from paper to electronic medical records. Health officials have launched the Capital Area Regional Health Information Organization, called RHIO. Participating health care providers in Ingham, Clinton and Eaton counties will be able to share health records on a secure computer network.

Dr. Brian McCardel is an orthopedic surgeon and chairs the Capital Area RHIO. He says health care is one of the last industries to upgrade electronically. "Right now, there's a huge array, everything from Michigan State having a fully integrated electronic record to physicians doing had-written notes," says McCardel. "This is an opportunity for everybody to be operating on a basic electronic platform, to essentially raise the platform community-wide for how things ought to work."

McCardel says RHIO will be managed to ensure the privacy and security of all clinical information. The same federal privacy rules that apply to paper records also apply to electronic ones.