November 2019 Update

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

AHEC and the NC HIEA Team Up to Provide Training for NC HealthConnex!

The North Carolina Health Information Exchange Authority (NC HIEA) is pleased to announce a partnership with the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (NC AHEC) Program to increase training opportunities for health care providers participating in the state-designated health information exchange (HIE), NC HealthConnex.

North Carolina is launching a robust NC HealthConnex training and data quality program, directed by the NC HIEA and carried out by the NC AHEC. With the additional funding, existing and newly connected NC HealthConnex participants will have access to on-site and virtual training on new features and specific use cases, as well as the facilitation of larger health system or regional group workshops. With the tools provided, health care providers will be able to offer better care to the citizens of North Carolina.

For more information about this partnership, please click here. For training opportunities, please click here.

How NC HealthConnex Is Working for Piedmont Health Services

Participants and stakeholders often ask how practices are using NC HealthConnex to improve patient care. We recently talked with Dr. Harriett Burns of Piedmont Health Services to learn how their practice is using NC HealthConnex. Founded by a group of health care professionals at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and community members concerned with local access to primary health care, Piedmont Health Services focuses on giving their community access to quality health care.  

Piedmont Health Services reports that they reference the NC HealthConnex Clinical Portal for their patients to fill in the gaps of patient history and care administered elsewhere. To do this, they search for a patient in the Clinical Portal prior to a patient’s appointment to see if the patient has initiated care at another practice or has had an ultrasound or other diagnostic service performed at another facility. If they see lab panels, they may not have to repeat them. If they see a recent scan, many times they can use this to more accurately treat the patient depending on the results. 

“When we use NC HealthConnex, we can rely on the fact that a patient’s information will be there,” said Dr. Burns. “It’s important that we can refer to health information records in order to properly treat each patient. NC HealthConnex allows us to administer the best health care possible.”

The ability of NC HealthConnex to aid in reducing the duplication of testing can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings. NC HealthConnex has helped practices such as Piedmont Health Services to maintain the most up-to-date patient information. 

NC HealthConnex Rolling Out NC*Notify Service to Full Participants

Launched in late 2018, the NC*Notify event notification service is designed to provide insight into patients’ health care activity that happens outside a provider’s practice or Electronic Health Record (EHR) network. Built off Admission Discharge and Transfer (ADT) data feeds, providers are notified when their patients receive care or are discharged from care in other care settings (hospital emergency department (ED) or in-patient stay, primary care practice, specialty practice, county health department, behavioral health facility, and more). NC*Notify is now monitoring over 1 million patients across 47 facilities statewide.

“We utilize NC HealthConnex for continuity of care due to post-hospitalization and post-ED visit discharges, and data gathering for closing care gaps for our accountable care organization, our insurance payer programs and Medicaid meaningful use quality measure reporting,” said Dr. Jonathan Woods of Jacksonville Children’s and Multispecialty Clinic. 

Jacksonville Children’s and Multispecialty Clinic provides health care services to military families and residents of Onslow County. Their clinic is dedicated to improving patient care and reducing health care costs by providing innovative technology systems and service by using the latest technology in health care IT. 

Benefits of NC*Notify

  • Insight to check in with patients after events and schedule follow-up appointments for clinical interventions
  • Reduce avoidable hospital readmissions and improve coordination across the care continuum
  • Help providers achieve financial goals under value-based care contracts
  • Compliance with state and federal quality initiatives, including Meaningful Use/Promoting Interoperability
  • Increased provider reimbursement for rapid follow-up to a patient’s hospital admission (if billed per correct CPT codes)

What is Required to Sign Up?

  • Full NC HealthConnex Participation Agreement, 2017 or 2018 versions
  • Completed NC*Notify enrollment form 
  • A patient list that the participant would like to track (sent via Secure FTP) or direct secure messaging
  • Mechanism for receiving alerts (Secure FTP) or direct secure messaging

Later versions will offer alternative delivery mechanisms, include real time alerting via HL7; additional triggering criteria based on clinical data; and provide additional data elements within the alerts such as critical lab values, immunization gaps, etc. The next release, Version 3.0, is scheduled for spring 2020. More detailed information is available on the HIEA website at www.nchealthconnex.gov.

NC HIEA Calendar of Events

  • How to Connect Call – Monday, December 30, 2019 at 12 p.m. – Click here to register. Interested providers are invited to join a monthly "How to Connect" to learn about who we are, the state mandate, steps to connect and the HIE’s value-added features.
  • i2i Center for Integrative Health, Sparking Innovations – Conference Presentation, Thursday, December 5, 2019. For more information, click here.
  • HIEA Advisory Board Meeting – Thursday, December 12, 2019 at 2 p.m. For more information, click here

The NC HealthConnex Team Answers Your Frequently Asked Questions

The FAQ section of the NC HIEA website contains answers to commonly asked questions. For the most up-to-date answers to your questions, please follow the link here.

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.

In Other News

Author: 
Emily Hughes