NC HIEA March 2019 Update

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

New Platform for NC HealthConnex to Launch in April

The NC Health Information Exchange Authority (NC HIEA) is pleased to announce that NC HealthConnex will be powered by the InterSystems HealthShare HIE platform beginning in April.  Participants can look forward to:

  • An improved Clinical Portal user interface and NC*Notify service,
  • Enhanced data mapping services,
  • More sophisticated reporting tools, and
  • Better confidentiality, consent, and user access capabilities.

In addition to the platform upgrade, a new Direct Secure Messaging (DSM) service will be fully embedded in the Clinical Portal and will provide on-demand, self-service reporting on message delivery and receipt to EHR-integrated customers.

Current Participants of NC HealthConnex will be moved to the new platform using a phased approach with a target date of April 18, 2019, for completion. Training materials will be available on the NC HIEA website and distributed via email to Participant Account Administrators (PAAs) by April 1, 2019. The NC HIEA will host three Teletown Hall webinar trainings on the new system in March, April and May with the first on March 27, 2019, at 12 p.m. (see link to register in the Calendar of Events section below, and on the NC HIEA website).

As a reminder, work on connecting new participant systems to NC HealthConnex is currently paused until late April. The NC HIEA will be in touch with each new participant regarding connection schedules, applicable training or other user needs.

Participants should stay tuned to their inbox for emails regarding training opportunities and transition dates specific to their organization.

Welcome, New Advisory Board Members!

The NC HIEA is pleased to welcome Timothy Ferreira, Carolyn Spence, Dr. Donald Spencer, and Donette Herring to the NC HIEA Advisory Board. To learn more about their accomplishments, see the biographies below. We look forward to their expertise and perspective as we continue to build out NC HealthConnex to best meet the needs of the North Carolina health care community.

Timothy Ferreira (Patient Representative)

Timothy Ferreira is the Director of Quality & Compliance at the Autism Society of North Carolina (ASNC). Timothy currently serves as a member of the leadership team at ASNC where he has worked for more than 17 years in a variety of roles including community and day program direct care work and advocacy, community services supervision and training, and positions that have strengthened and expanded ASNC’s quality management and compliance programs.

Donette Herring (Representative of a Critical Access Hospital)

Donette Herring is the Chief Information Officer at Vidant Health. In this role she is responsible for strategic information and technology planning and for the selection and implementation of information systems to meet the business needs of Vidant Health. Herring was appointed to her current position in October 2013.

Carolyn Spence (Behavioral Health Representative)

Carolyn Spence is the Chief Information Officer for Alexander Youth Network, an organization in North Carolina providing an array of mental and behavioral health services for children and young adults.  Carolyn has been with the organization for more than 20 years overseeing the organization’s clinical case management, administration, billing, utilization management, EHR development and implementation, and data analysis.

Dr. Donald Spencer (Individual with Technical Expertise in Health IT)

Don Spencer serves as Vice President and Chief Medical Informatics Officer for the UNC Health Care System.  In this role, he has responsibility for medical informatics throughout the enterprise.  Don also serves as Professor of Family Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC).

A family physician for 39 years and 23-year veteran of UNC Health Care and the UNC School of Medicine, Spencer previously served as Program Manager for the Carolina Data Warehouse for Health and Medical Director and Vice President of Ambulatory Care for UNC Health Care, and was instrumental in developing physician champions who become influential in IT governance.

Stay Informed about Your Patients with NC*Notify

As a reminder, enrollment is open for NC*Notify, an event notification service that notifies providers of their patients’ health events outside of their organization or EHR in a timely manner to support successful transitions of care and improve care management.

As of March 1, 2019, 97 hospitals and over 4,000 other health care facilities across North Carolina are connected and sending data to NC HealthConnex. Through participation with NC*Notify, your organization can begin to receive updates as frequently as daily when your patients receive care at these facilities.

The NC HIEA encourages full participants of NC HealthConnex to consider the benefits of NC*Notify and enroll today. Please note that there is no cost to enroll or use the NC*Notify service. For more information on how NC*Notify can help with patient care needs and to enroll, visit https://hiea.nc.gov/services/ncnotify.

Still have questions? Reach out to the NC HIEA provider relations team at (919) 754-6912 or via email at hiea@nc.gov.

Register Today to Meet STOP Act Requirements with NC HealthConnex

Per the Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP) Act of 2017, or the STOP Act (NCSL 2017-74), health care providers in North Carolina who prescribe controlled substances must access a patient report from the NC Controlled Substances Reporting System (CSRS) to verify a patient’s prescription fill history of controlled substances prior to writing prescriptions for targeted controlled substances.

Full participants of NC HealthConnex may leverage the HIE to access the CSRS, rather than build a new integration or manage additional portal credentials with the North Carolina Drug Control Unit (which manages the CSRS), to meet the requirement.

To begin the STOP Act compliance process, health care providers must register with the North Carolina Drug Control Unit by filling out an Integration Request Form. This form and more information about the process may be found on the CSRS website. Providers wishing to leverage their existing NC HealthConnex integration should select NC HealthConnex in the drop-down menu as their preference for connection within the Integration Request Form.

More Information about using NC HealthConnex as your partner in compliance with the STOP Act, including future plans to deliver the integration directly into NC HealthConnex participants’ workflows, can be found on the NC HIEA website.

NC HIEA Calendar of Events

Regional Dental Task Force Meeting – Friday, March 8, 2019, from 9 a.m.- 12 p.m. at the Iredell County Health Department, 318 Turnersburg Hwy in Statesville. The NC HIEA is presenting to this audience about how dental providers can leverage NC HealthConnex in their clinical practice while meeting their reporting requirements per the NC Health Information Exchange Act.

NC Substance Use Disorder Federation Meeting – Thursday, March 14, 2019, from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Governor's Institute, 1121 Situs Court, 3rd floor in Raleigh. The NC HIEA is presenting to providers about how they can leverage NC HealthConnex in their clinical practice while meeting their reporting requirements per the NC Health Information Exchange Act and the STOP Act.

How to Connect Call – Monday, March 25, 2019, at 12 p.m. – Click here to register. Interested providers are invited to join a monthly "How to Connect" call to learn about who we are, the state mandate, steps to connect, and the HIE’s value-added features.

March Teletown Hall – Wednesday, March 27, 2019, at 12 p.m. – Click here to register. Interested providers are invited to join this first in a series of Teletown Hall webinars to learn more about the benefits and how-tos of the new NC HealthConnex HIE platform.

If your organization would like a member of the HIEA Outreach Team to present at a meeting or conference, please contact Jessica Brehmer at Jessica.Brehmer@nc.gov.

Questions? Contact the NC HIEA at hiea@nc.gov or call (919) 754-6912.

In Other News

NC Health Information Exchange Upgrades Infrastructure, Usability - A North Carolina health information exchange has partnered with two technology companies to improve health IT usability for users.

Health Information Exchanges May Remedy Long Emergency Stays - Study Shows Hospitals Can Cut Length of Stay When They Adopt Technology That Provides Patient Data; utdallas.edu

Breaking Down ONC’s Information Blocking Proposed Provisions: What HIT Stakeholders Need to Know  - The information blocking portions of last week’s proposed rules from ONC and CMS contain a great deal of complexity and nuance. A range of health IT experts take a crack at deciphering what it all means; hcinnovationgroup.com

85 Percent of Adults Expect Healthcare Providers to Share Records, Siena Poll Shows  - - Survey of 1,000 regional consumers shows demand for real-time use of all health records; prnewswire.com