MyHealth was started by the health care industry in the Tulsa region to function conceptually as a non-profit health care public utility. The project kicked off in June 2009, when executives from the regional healthcare organizations assembled at the request of Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor to discuss Oklahoma’s troubling public health profile, with Oklahoma ranked last or next to last in several national measures and mostly D’s and F’s on the Oklahoma Health Department’s “State of the State’s Health” report card.
Oklahoma has high quality medical providers, and our institutions perform well when compared with their national peers. The leaders agreed that improvement needed a community-wide focus. A charter was prepared to kick off a series of planning meetings, resulting in the formation of the non-profit organization that became MyHealth Access Network today.
The plan that emerged from the planning session enabled the organization to qualify for one of seventeen federal Beacon Community Awards, which funded the initial launch of the organization from 2010 to 2013. MyHealth’s formation was guided significantly by the experience of the Secure Medical Records Transfer Network (SMRTNET), another Oklahoma health information exchange that had been under development since 2004 and had been live since March 2008 serving facilities in other parts of the state. Various factors lead the two organizations to remain separate, and for a time, they were in competition with one another.
In 2014, the boards of the non-profit organizations came together and decided to integrate SMRTNET into MyHealth. The resulting organization combined the best of what both networks had to offer with a membership that reaches across the entire state of Oklahoma.
MyHealth has facilitated the region’s participation in many national initiatives which has brought millions of dollars of additional funding to our region, creating hundreds of new jobs and raising Oklahoma into the national spotlight. We have become a demonstrate site for how effective implementation of health information technology, in a collaborative cooperative effort lead primarily by the private sector can fuel improvement in the quality of health outcomes, the health of individuals, at a lower overall cost.