nc-healthconnexThe North Carolina Health Information Exchange Authority’s (NC HIEA) vision is to build a more robust health information exchange, now called NC HealthConnex, to link all health care providers across North Carolina enabling them to access information to support improved health care quality and outcomes.
Here are several updates on progress toward that goal:
Clinical Notifications Participants can now utilize the Notifications feature in the NC HealthConnex Clinical Portal to follow a patient’s care across the continuum, including notifications for time sensitive events like emergency room visits, critical lab results or hospital discharges. When notified of these events in near real-time, care managers and others following a patient’s care can intervene early to ensure the patient gets the right care and follow up in a timely manner. This is especially important for provider organizations participating in Accountable Care Organizations or other risk-based payment arrangements. Users can sign up for notifications from within the clinical portal or receive the notifications via their direct secure messaging account, which now has a single sign-on component to the portal.
EHR Integrations The NC HIEA continues to work with a list of EHR vendors (Allscripts, AthenaHealth, eClinical Works, Cure MD) to build multi-tenant connections to enable participants to access patient records in NC HealthConnex via an EHR integration. They hope to have these agreements in place soon so those who have signed Participation Agreements can begin utilizing NC HealthConnex for the secure exchange of patient information. They recommend contacting your EHR vendor to request their timeframe for connection so you can begin your planning and preparations.
Direct Secure Messaging (DSM) with Communicate Webmail NC HealthConnex offers providers a DSM solution certified by DirectTrust and allowing participants to send secure, encrypted messages between health care providers. Use cases for DSM include care coordination between health care providers who share patients, but more and more this form of secure communication is being used to replace fax, phone, and/or mail in the workflows of healthcare-related organizations whose professionals don’t necessarily use EHRs and don’t directly benefit from the MU incentive bonuses. DSM is part of the bundle of services offered by NC HealthConnex.
Provider Directory NC HealthConnex has created a directory of the secure email addresses of NC HealthConnex participants and North Carolina providers participating in DirectTrust. The current number of HISP addresses is just over 5,000, and expected to grow as NC HealthConnex grows. The directory will be made available to NC HealthConnex participants in a .csv file. Participant Account Administrators will receive instructions for access to this file in the next few weeks. If healthcare providers would like to have their DSM address added to the NC HealthConnex Provider Directory, please contact Christie Burris at [email protected]. They plan to update the directory on a quarterly basis. The next issue will come out the end of February.
North Carolina Immunization Registry  The NCIR pilot is almost ready!  Upon completion, the technology will be available for other participants and will enable two-way (bi-directional) flow of vaccination information through upload and query technology. The NC HIEA team is working with the NCIR team at the DHHS Division of Public Health to determine next steps in the roll-out of this new functionality. Stay tuned!
Working Groups Organizing – 

  • The NCHICA HIE Task Force meets once every two months at the North Carolina Health Information and Communications Alliance (NCHICA). The next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 15 and is open to NCHICA members. For more information, contact Allison Parker, [email protected].
  • The Behavioral Health working group will be held Nov. 22 in downtown Raleigh.
  • The Disease Registries working group plans to meet in December, with date and location to be decided.

If you are interested in learning more about any of these groups, please send an e-mail to Alice Miller at [email protected].
Read the entire NC HealthConnex update here and visit the NC HIEA website to learn more about this important initiative including answers to FAQs.