nc-healthconnexThe NC Health Information Exchange Authority (NCHIEA), which has been overseeing and administering North Carolina’s state-operated health information exchange, has a new name: NC HealthConnex.
“The NC HIEA team and Advisory Board have made great progress in recent months, and we are enthusiastic about our new name for the HIE Network, NC HealthConnex,” said Darryl Meeks, executive director of the NC HIEA. “It represents our mission to connect health care providers to safely and securely share health information. We believe NC HealthConnex will help close current gaps in health information exchange by enabling providers to participate in a statewide community of health care neighborhoods working together to improve quality and outcomes for North Carolinians.”
The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) has long advocated for a robust state health information exchange as an important element in achieving the triple aim of improved population health, patient experience of care and cost efficiencies. The triple aim is the foundation of value-based care models, which moves clinical decision-making back into physician hands. NC HealthConnex has been working hard to ensure all previous and new participants are connected and part of the exchange. Currently there are more than 100 data connections enabling 820 facilities—including 20 hospitals and 23 county health departments—to share patient care records electronically.
NC HealthConnex is accepting new participation agreements. For more information, please contact Alice Miller at 919-754-6912 or send her an email to [email protected]. Below are some of the benefits of connecting. Also, keep in mind the legislation establishing NC HealthConnex mandates all Medicaid providers be connected by Feb. 1, 2018.
NC HealthConnex has identified the following benefits to becoming part of the exchange:

  • Public Health Registries: The NC HIEA and the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to allow public health data to flow through NC HealthConnex to the NC Division of Public Health.
    • The North Carolina Immunization Registry (NCIR) pilot with UNC Health Care is almost complete. Upon completion, the technology will be available for other participants and will enable two-way (bi-directional) flow of vaccination information.
    • The Electronic Laboratory Reporting (ELR) team within Public Health is conducting a number of pilots and are ready to start testing NC HealthConnex as the main data conduit hub to public health. The ELR feed is for reporting purposes to Public Health with NC HealthConnex being simply the conduit for the information to flow (one-way).
  • Provider Directory: Through partnerships with Orion and DirectTrust, NC HealthConnex and its participants will have access to a directory of up to 6,000 HISP addresses. DirectTrust is creating a nationwide directory, and the NC HealthConnex will have direct access to North Carolina DSM addresses. Any North Carolina provider can submit their DSM address to the NC HealthConnex for inclusion in the directory. However, only NC HealthConnex participants will be able to utilize the full directory.
  • Direct Secure Messaging: Additionally, participants have the ability to easily send encrypted messages between other HISP providers through Communicate Webmail. Communicate Webmail enables the secure sending and receiving of emails between entities that are members of the DirectTrust.
  • Additional Information: NC HealthConnex participants can receive information pertaining to patient care housed within provider organizations such as laboratory results, diagnostic studies and clinical documents. Users with the highest level of access can receive notifications about significant patient events once a patient/provider relationship is established. These include:
  • Inpatient Admission
  • Inpatient Discharge
  • Patient is admitted to ER
  • Final Laboratory Result
  • Final Microbiology Result
  • Final Radiology Report

Current data elements available in NC HealthConnex include:

  • Allergies
  • Encounters
  • Immunizations
  • Medications
  • Problems
  • Procedures
  • Results

Training Materials: Current participants who have connected to the NC HealthConnex portal should have received an email from Alice Miller on Monday, Oct. 3, providing the NC HealthConnex Primary Provider User Manual and Welcome Packet.
Questions? Call the NC HIEA business office at 919-754-6912 or send an email to [email protected].