North Carolina and the VA Use Health Information Exchange to Support Improved Care Coordination for Veterans

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Over 800,000 NC Veterans will have the chance to opt in for electronic health records

NC HealthConnex is partnering with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Health Information Exchange (VHIE) to make veterans’ health records available through a secure, standardized electronic system to private health care providers, ensuring up-to-date medical records for former service members are available no matter where they are treated.

This partnership allows a more complete picture of veterans’ health, providing immunization records, lab results, medications, and procedure results and will reduce the need for patients and their families to request paper records.

The two HIEs are currently in test and anticipate the connection going live early in 2018. Read More.

NC HealthConnex Hosts Virtual EHR Vendor Day

Delivering on the theme of Preparation, Education, and Partnership, the NC Health Information Exchange Authority (NC HIEA) held a Virtual Electronic Health Record (EHR) Vendor Day on October 24. Currently, the NC HIEA is working with over 40 EHR vendors to build integrations to the State-designated health information exchange, NC HealthConnex. We hosted this event especially for our vendor partners to underscore the importance of the investment the State of North Carolina is making to ensure that NC HealthConnex is a viable decision support tool for health care providers servicing the state of North Carolina. The day’s agenda included an overview of who we are, our partners, technical requirements for connections and considerations, as well as guest presenters from NC DHHS and ONC. Charles Carter, NC DHHS Chief Operating Officer for Technology and Operations, provided an overview of the design for Medicaid Transformation. John Rancourt, ONC Deputy Director for the Office of Care Transformation, delivered Interoperability: HIEs’ Role in the Interoperability Vision & How EHRs Can Help. View the presentations here.

For a status update of your EHR vendor’s integration with NC HealthConnex, please contact us at hiea@nc.gov.

NC HIEA Upcoming Meetings

HIE Task Force – Tuesday, November 21, 2017, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Hosted by NCHICA.

Advisory Board – Wednesday, December 6, 2:00-5:00 p.m., UNC Health Care in Morrisville. Meetings are open to the public.

Behavioral Health/IDD Work Group – Tuesday, December 19, 1:00-4:00 p.m., HIEA Office in Raleigh.

For more information on any of these meetings, contact hiea@nc.gov.

For NC HealthConnex Participants

Is Your Browser Up to Date? Deadline is November 15!

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?

Transport Layer Security (TLS) 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. 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.

Participant User Account Audits for Q3 Are Underway

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

DSM Provider Directory

Thank you to the NC HealthConnex participants who recently participated in updating their listing in the direct secure messaging (DSM) provider directory. These changes will be updated in the Clinical Portal and will be made available in excel format upon request. Please contact Kellie McDonald at kellie.mcdonald@nc.gov if you would like to receive the revised edition of the DSM Provider Directory.

Please note, the DSM Provider Directory is not a comprehensive list of all NC HealthConnex participants, but rather a directory of secure email addresses of North Carolina providers participating in the Direct Trust Framework for coordination of care.

If you would like more information on obtaining a DSM account, please contact hiea@nc.gov.

Welcome to NC HealthConnex!

Newly Connected:
Eastern Carolina ENT
Greenville Pediatrics Services
Lakeshore Pediatric Center
Physicians East
Thomasville Ob/Gyn Associates

Newly Signed:
ABC Human Services
Achieve Case Management Services
Asheville Medicine and Pediatrics
Blue Ridge Pain Management and Palliative Care
Carolina Medical Associates
Carolina Therapeutic Services
Central Carolina Hospital
Charlotte Ear Nose & Throat Associates
Cornerstone Medical
Grace Clinic of Yadkin Valley
IntelliChoice Staffing
Iredell Memorial Hospital
Martin Pediatric Clinic
Onslow Community Outreach
Our Children's Clinic
Radiation Oncology Centers of the Carolinas
S.T.E.P.'s Developmental Academy
Sampson Regional Medical Center
South Charlotte Pediatrics
ThroughCare Health
Wakefield Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine
Wilson Medical Group
Youth Unlimited

Hospitals in bold

For a complete list of NC HealthConnex participants, click here.

In Other Health Care News…

Wellness coordinators may improve preventive care, bottom line
October 16, 2017 - Healio

In Survey, 21% Report Personal Experience With Medical Errors
September 30, 2017 - Managed Care

Hurricanes should serve as HIE wake-up call
Sharing electronic health records can make it easier for providers to treat patients in times of disaster.

HIEs would lead to $3.1B annual reduction in US spending, study finds
September 19, 2017 - Becker's Hospital Review

Caregiving in an Electronic Age
As part of National Family Caregiver’s Month, ONC’s Principal Deputy National Coordinator for Health IT, Genevieve Morris, shares her personal account of serving as a caregiver for a family member living in another state. Her blog post discusses how better health IT could have improved her and her family’s experiences and the opportunity for innovation of improved electronic tools and information to better address unmet caregiver needs. Read the full story, Caregiving in an Electronic Age, on the Health IT Buzz Blog. – ONC Newsletter

CMS Announces Transition of eCQMs to CQL for the CY2019 Reporting/Performance Periods
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced quality program electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) will be transitioned to use the HL7 Clinical Quality Language (CQL) standard (CQL Release 1, Standard for Trial Use (STU) 2) for logic expression. Learn more at the eCQI Resource Center. ONC Newsletter

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.