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Michigan health system enters affiliation deal for IT, EMR needs

Mackinac Straits Health System will enter a formal affiliation agreement with MidMichigan Health that will address its technology and EMR needs, the organizations said Oct. 5. 

Karen Cheeseman, president and CEO of Mackinac Straits Health System, said it needs IT infrastructure updates and a new Epic EMR system to better serve patients. However, the health system needs some help to get the funding and resources for these advancements.

"This opportunity to align with MidMichigan and implement the Epic software system will assist us in meeting our critical needs," Ms. Cheeseman said in a news release. "We recognize that while we have many strengths, operating successful health systems in today's environment requires more than we have available to us as a standalone healthcare organization. This affiliation will position us well for the future."

Mackinac Straits, based in St. Ignace, Mich., has a 15-bed hospital and 48-bed long-term care facility. MidMichigan Health, based in Midland, is a six-hospital system. 

This is not the first health system in recent months to find a partner to help with an EMR transformation project. Woman's Hospital in Baton Rouge, La., entered contract negotiations in August with LCMC Health to join the New Orleans-based system's Epic EHR platform. Woman's Hospital began looking for a partner in June that would share its Epic EHR system so the 165-bed hospital wouldn't have to buy access on its own; the hospital estimated that a solo implementation would cost it $200 million over the next seven years. 

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