NC HIEA October Update

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

NC HealthConnex Linking Health Care Communities from the Mountains to the Coast

The NC Health Information Exchange Authority (NC HIEA) is partnering with two regional health information exchanges (RHIOs)to enable health care providers to meet the state’s mandate while also promoting greater access to patients’ health records to improve patient care.

Mission Health System, located in the western region of North Carolina, and Coastal Connect, located in the southeastern region, are currently in the onboarding process with NC HealthConnex, the state-designated HIE.

The NC HIEA is committed to securely linking all health care providers across North Carolina to help break down the silos that can exist between disparate systems and technologies. The connection of these established RHIOs to NC HealthConnex means that clinical data generated by the participants will be available in near real time to every other organization in the NC HealthConnex Network.

NC HealthConnex Continues Growth

In addition to Mission Health System, the NC HIEA welcomes Cape Fear Valley Health System, NC Specialty Hospital, Frye Regional Medical Center, FirstHealth of the Carolinas as well as numerous ambulatory and specialty provider participants. See the complete list of NC HealthConnex participants.

NC HIEA Welcomes Two New Advisory Board Members

At its September meeting, the NC HIEA welcomed two new Advisory Board members to the 11-member legislatively-appointed board. Dave Garrett, CIO and Senior Vice President of Novant Health, and Joe Norris, Vice President and CIO of New Hanover Regional Medical Center, are replacing two recently vacated positions.

The Advisory Board meets quarterly and the meetings are open to the public. The next meeting will be held December 6 from 1:00 – 5:00 pm. Details will be available on the website.

Connection to Georgia Health Information Network (GaHIN) Almost Complete

The teams at NC HealthConnex and GaHIN have been working this summer to build a connection via the national eHealth Exchange that will allow for NC HealthConnex users to query GaHIN for patient records and vice versa. Final testing is underway; we anticipate the connection being live for all users at the end of this month. We are developing a primer for participants to understand how to access and use the eHealth Exchange connection to GaHIN via the clinical portal.

Future eHealth Exchange integrations will include the Veterans Administration and states with large numbers of residents moving to North Carolina.

IN OTHER NEWS:

National Health IT Week – October 2-6

The NC Health Information Exchange Authority (NC HIEA) is a proud partner of National Health IT week, October 2-6, that is focused on the value of health care IT.

“Our participation in National Health IT Week highlights our organization’s commitment to ensure health information technology is integrated, interactive, interoperable, and intelligent to support improved best patient outcomes, said Christie Burris, NC HIEA acting director. “By working together we can leverage the NC HealthConnex technology for the betterment of health care delivery in North Carolina.”

Founded by HIMSS and the Institute for e-Health Policy in 2006, the week-long celebration brings together the Administration, Congress, corporations, providers, and non-profit organizations around the country in recognizing the value of shining the spotlight on health IT initiatives.

Mark Your Calendar - Health IT Summit in Raleigh October 19-20!

Join NC HealthConnex and the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for the Healthcare Informatics Health IT Summit in Raleigh taking place on October 19 – 20 at the Sheraton Downtown. The Summit will feature a State Spotlight with Sam Gibbs and Charles Carter from DHHS discussing Medicaid and payment reform and how technology will continue to drive collaboration in the state.

The Health IT Summit Series gathers renowned health care IT leaders throughout the country to share best practices, case studies and insights in a wide variety of important topics. Discussions and interactive sessions lead to shared learning, exceptional networking and transformative discussions in a unique environment for professional growth. For more information or to register, Click Here.

FOR NC HEALTHCONNEX PARTICIPANTS:

Is Your Browser Up to Date?

As we continuously monitor and improve security around NC HealthConnex and your patient data, we are asking all who utilize NC HealthConnex, and its Direct Secure Messaging (DSM) product, to ensure that their browsers support Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.2. All users of NC HealthConnex must have browsers that support TLS 1.2 installed by November 15, 2017. After November 15 all users’ whose browsers do not support TLS 1.2 will no longer have access to NC HealthConnex.

What is TLS?
TLS stands for Transport Layer Security. It is a protocol that provides privacy and data integrity between web browsers and other applications that require data to be securely exchanged over a network. It also ensures that a connection to a remote endpoint is the intended endpoint through encryption and endpoint identity verification.

What is the change?
The HIEA requires an upgrade to a browser that supports TLS 1.2 by November 15, 2017. On that date, we will disable previously versioned protocols. Users with browsers that do not support TLS 1.2 will no longer be able to access NC HealthConnex.

How do you avoid a service disruption?
You must transition your health care organization to a browser that supports TLS 1.2 by November 15, 2017. To determine if your browser supports TLS 1.2 you can reference “Browser Compatibility and How to Guide,” or simply visit this website and it will tell you if your browser supports TLS 1.2. Note the message listed under “Protocol Support.” If the message indicates that your user agent has good protocol support, your browser supports TLS 1.2 and you have no action items. If the message indicates that your user agent does NOT have good protocol support, then your browser does not support TLS 1.2 and it will need to be upgraded. Some older browsers support TLS 1.2, but the support is disabled by default. Please reference “Browser Compatibility and How to Guide” to get instructions on how to enable TLS 1.2 on various browsers.

Questions? Please contact the NC HealthConnex Help Desk at 919-531-2700 or hiesupport@sas.com.

Provider Directory for Secure Messaging

The NC HealthConnex DSM Provider Directory will be distributed this week. Orion Health is the Health Information Services Provider (HISP) for NC HealthConnex and as a member of DIRECT enables the sharing of this directory to NC HealthConnex participants. It is a listing of North Carolina DIRECT secure email addresses that participants may utilize for care coordination. It is not a complete listing of all connected participants. If you would like more information on obtaining a DSM account, please contact hiea@nc.gov.

Mark Your Calendar – Participant User Account Audits for Q3 will begin in November

NC HealthConnex participants are required to complete the audit in order to retain access to the clinical portal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What training materials/opportunities are available for NC HealthConnex participants?
The NC HIEA and the NC HealthConnex Help Desk host quarterly Teletown Hall webinars for participants on a variety of subjects. See the Tools & Training page for links to previous webinars. Previous subject areas have included Visual Guide to Accessing and Utilizing Key Components of the Clinical Portal, How to login and navigate the Clinical Portal, How to access and utilize Direct Secure Messaging/Web Communicate, and Website and User Account Audit Process.

When is the next TeleTown Hall?
The next TeleTown Hall is scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday, October 4, from noon-1:00 pm. We will cover patient education and the opt out process. Register here.

Additionally, participants have access to a Welcome Packet and a Primary Provider User Guide. If you have not received either of these informational resources, please notify the HIEA provider relations team at hiea@nc.gov.

Do you have a list of Electronic Health Record/Electronic Medical Record (EHR/EMR) systems that support connection to NC HealthConnex?
Any EHR/EMR product that can send HL7 version 2.0 and higher will support the connection to NC HealthConnex. For a list of EHR/EMR vendors that are connected to NC HealthConnex currently or that we have experience with building the connection, please visit How to Connect.

How does NC HealthConnex Support Medicaid Meaningful Use?
While a connection to NC HealthConnex alone does not satisfy any single Meaningful Use objective for an eligible professional or hospital, use of the HIE’s features supports an eligible professional or hospital’s achievement of various Meaningful Use measures by providing a means of electronically facilitating care transitions; secure, HIPAA-compliant provider-to-provider (and in some cases, provider-to-patient) conversations; and automated electronic reporting of immunization and lab data to the NC Division of Public Health. Note that providers will continue to attest to meeting Meaningful Use objectives in order to receive incentive payments via the NC Division of Medical Assistance’s NC-Medicaid Incentive Payment System (NC-MIPS), and detailed information about attestation and measures/objectives may be found on that same webpage, the NC Division of Public Health’s Meaningful Use website, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) website. While certified EHRs used to comply with Meaningful Use requirements are able to produce all necessary reports and documentation to support achievement of Meaningful Use measures/objectives, NC HealthConnex may be able to support providers with specific documentation requests in the case of a state or federal Meaningful Use audit.

Questions? Call the NC HIEA business office at 919-754-6912 or send an email to hiea@nc.gov.

About the North Carolina Health Information Exchange Authority (NC HIEA) and NC HealthConnex:
In 2015, the North Carolina General Assembly established a state-managed Health Information Exchange Authority (NC HIEA) to oversee and administer the NC Health Information Exchange Network (NCGS 90-414.7). Housed within the NC Department of Information Technology’s (DIT) Government Data Analytics Center (GDAC), the NC HIEA operates North Carolina’s statewide health information exchange--now called NC HealthConnex. NC HealthConnex is a secure, standardized electronic system in which providers can share important patient health information. The use of this system promotes the access, exchange, and analysis of health information to help improve care coordination, quality of care, and enable better health outcomes.