HIEs Overcome Challenges to Value-Based Care
Although cost immediately comes to mind, one of the primary challenges to delivering value-based care is changing the practices of patients, providers, and health care systems. A singular focus on cost dilutes the promise of value-based care and brings risk- and cost-focused regulations that make it just one more thing to do for health providers.
With NC HealthConnex, Cary Medical Management has found a powerful tool to overcome one challenge to value-based care: fragmented health care technology, particularly electronic health records. For example, primary care providers might not be aware when their patients are hospitalized, which can increase readmissions and reduce productivity and community engagement.
NC HealthConnex and NC*Notify, a patient-encounter alert system, eliminate Cary Medical Management's problems with surprise discharges that include poorly reconciled medications and complex discharge instructions. Providers can see their patients and their needs across all health information silos through the NC HealthConnex's Smartlink Health integration in their suite of EHRs.
"We don’t log into dozens of fragmented hospital and practice information silos. We’re able to render high-touch patient engagement and management wherever our patients are during the most vulnerable moments in their lives," said Siu Tong, chief executive officer of Cary Medical Management.
Currently, Cary Medical Management has created a bidirectional connection between NC HealthConnex and a Cary location with 12 providers. The company is working to connect another five locations, with up to 100 providers, by the end of the year.
In one case, a 14-provider clinic operated by Cary Medical Management faced losing timely discharge information from a community hospital because the lack of a direct ADT feed meant that the clinic got hospital discharge notifications for only about half of its patients or even less.
However, a live connection with NC*Notify now gives the clinic discharge information for area hospitals, along with useful data from other specialists. Smartlink SDC also inserts critical information into patient charts for immediate review.
NC HealthConnex has become a critical component of Cary Medical Management's community- and collaboration-focused methodology to deliver value-based care. This framework has improved health outcomes and produced an average of $76,000 in shared savings and incentives per provider per year.
Introducing N.C. HIEA's New Business and Provider Relations Manager
The N.C. Health Information Exchange Authority (NC HIEA) is pleased to introduce a new team member who will be active in outreach and provider relations. Garrett Smith has joined as NC HIEA's business relations manager.
Garrett will be leading the provider relations and outreach team to continue engagement with providers not yet connected to NC HealthConnex and building long-term relationships to help providers get the most out of their HIE connection. He will be involved in education, presentations, and industry and stakeholder events.
Garrett brings a wealth of experience in similar roles with the N.C. Department of Revenue, Siemens Healthineers, and Carestream Health. He holds a bachelor of science in business management and a master of business administration from North Carolina State University.
NC HealthConnex's Upcoming Outreach to North Carolina Healthcare Providers
The NC HIEA enters a new phase of its mission: providers and entities regulated by the Statewide Health Information Exchange Act have a new statutory deadline of Jan. 1, 2023, to connect to NC HealthConnex and begin sending data.
Beginning in early February, the NC HIEA will continue outreach efforts to unconnected members of the health care community, supporting the agency's mission to improve health care quality and outcomes for North Carolinians by connecting health care providers and enabling them to safely and securely share health information through a trusted network.
The NC HIEA will mail letters to unconnected health care providers and organizations encouraging them to immediately take action to meet the Jan. 1, 2023, deadline. Consistent with directions from the N.C. General Assembly, these letters will “share information with each provider or entity about the Statewide Health Information Exchange Act and how to connect to the HIE Network.” The letters will encourage providers to initiate a legal agreement and/or the connection process with NC HIEA.
Dedicate This Week to Data Privacy
Cherie L. Givens, the chief privacy officer for the N.C. Department of Information Technology (NCDIT), shares tips on privacy and data protection for Data Privacy Week, which runs Jan. 24-28.
Over time, these habits can give away data that reveals our activities and interests. But this week, we can take steps to better protect our own data across the devices we use at home and work.
- Review our settings. Delete apps we don't use, and disable tracking when we don't need it.
- Declutter our online presence. Review the privacy and security settings of our online accounts. Consider limiting who can see past and current posts, and delete inactive accounts.
- Teach family members, especially children, about privacy awareness and how their data is collected and used. Talk about the risks children and young adults may face online, including identity theft, bullying, and online predators.
As we think about protecting our own privacy and the privacy of others, check out NCDIT's January Cybersecurity newsletter for more on:
- A new Office 365 phishing scam
- Types of PII (personally identifying information)
- Third-party vendor risk in the supply chain
- Password hygiene
NCDIT has also more tips on protecting your privacy and how organizations can use data privacy as a competitive advantage.
NC HealthConnex, as part of NCDIT, strives to responsibly handle patient data and meet the highest security standards. Learn more about our privacy and security policies.
- How to Connect Call
Jan. 31, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Interested providers may register to join a monthly "How to Connect" call to learn about who we are, as well as the state mandate, steps to connect and value-added features.
- NC HIEA Advisory Board Meeting
Thursday, March 21, 2022, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
If interested in attending, email Trista Nance at Trista.firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Upcoming Teletown Hall Meeting
March 30, 2 p.m.
Learn more about how you can get the most out of NC HIEA's Controlled Substance Reporting System, single sign-on, bidirectional connections, NC*Notify, and the NC HealthConnex Clinical Portal.
- Quarterly User Audit
NC HealthConnex Participant Account Administrators contacted by email should complete their user audits. See the Quarterly Audit Quick Reference Guide, or for assistance, contact the NC HealthConnex Help Desk Team at email@example.com or 919-531-2700.
In the News
Digital Health Predictions for 2022: Looking to a Brighter Future — Digital transformation in health care has moved beyond telehealth to data-driven decision making. HIMMSS explores the four major areas of interest in 2022. healthcareitnews.com
The United Status of Women: A Critical Reflection on the Impact of COVID-19 on Women in North Carolina — After interviewing a diverse set of women affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the N.C. Council for Women gives 10 recommendations to address the inequalities revealed by the pandemic. ncmedicaljournal.com
3 Health Tech Trends to Watch in 2022 — Visibility into information and IT systems gives healthcare providers and IT staff the data they need to proactively manage change in the industry. healthtechmagazine.net
So TEFCA Is Live. Now What? — Now that the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement is live, former National Coordinator for Health IT Don Rucker discusses what's next for interoperability and why he sees TEFCA as a "solid first step." healthcareITnews.com
CMS Officials’ Bold Statement of Intent Around Health Equity and Value-Based Care — Top officials as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have made a major statement about health equity — and incorporated value-based care into the formulation. hcinnovationgroup.com
How HIE EHR Data Can Measure Disease Trends, Support Public Health — Health information exchange data can effectively measure epidemiological trends for pediatric asthma, according to a study that points to the potential public health benefits of EHR data sharing. ehrintelligence.com