Once enrolled in the NC*Notify service, the NC HealthConnex participant will provide a list of the patients for whom it would like to receive event notifications. If one of those patients is admitted to a hospital for an emergency department or inpatient visit or visits another participating organization, the participant will receive a notification alerting them of these events during a specified delivery interval set by the participant. For more information, see the specifications document.
There is no fee for utilizing the event notification service. This is a value-added feature offered to full participants to help improve care coordination.
The consent model in North Carolina is “opt-out.” As an opt-out state, all data related to North Carolina patients submitted to NC HealthConnex, regardless of payer, is viewable by certain authorized users who can access clinical records unless a patient opts out of exchange.
While only a small percentage of people typically choose to opt out, it is important that patients are educated about opt-out and given the opportunity to make that choice.
When a practice signs a participation agreement with the N.C. Health Information Exchange Authority, patient education materials are provided when the agreement is executed by NC HIEA. To get more information on patient education and to request brochures, a sample Notice of Privacy Practices and other materials, please contact email@example.com. Find opt-out forms.
Please note that opt-out forms cannot be emailed to NC HIEA and must be mailed to NC HIEA through the U.S. Postal Service or a similar mail carrier.
Patient attribution, or determining which patients may be included in the patient list, is managed by the participant joining NC*Notify. Participants must use their judgment, based on their clinical background or other health care expertise, to provide NC HealthConnex with a patient list that only includes information related to patients for whom they can reasonably expect that the majority of encounters will be relevant to their care and/or care coordination of that patient.
Yes, adopting NC*Notify helps ensure that hospitals comply with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' conditions of participation for hospital electronic notifications. Find out how NC*Notify helps meet the CoP rule.
Visit the NC HealthConnex website for an enrollment form. Prerequisites include:
- 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)
Direct secure messsaging is similar to secure web e-mail and is specifically designed for the exchange of patient health information across various electronic health records networks.
Secure file transfer protocol is a way to transfer and receive files securely; however, it usually requires more technical configuration than direct secure messaging. This option is not recommended for practices that do not have technical resources.
Direct secure messaging is the easier method of the two options during technical onboarding. If using direct secure messaging, the patient file will be sent and retrieved as an attachment, with no automated abilities available.
Secure file transfer protocol allows you to connect via a file transfer protocol client such as WinSCP or FileZilla, giving you the ability to automate file uploads and downloads. Secure file transfer protocol may require the facility to have a technical resource available to set it up.
We suggest that you work with your electronic health records vendor to create a patient panel that meets the specifications for NC*Notify. Find the file specifications.
If your EHR vendor is unable to help you create a patient panel, feel free to reach out for additional N.C. Health Information Exchange Authority support.
The following only applies if you choose secure file transfer protocol:
To make sure the data connection process works seamlessly between the participant and the SAS NC HealthConnex technical team, the SAS NC HealthConnex technical team requests source internet protocol addresses (which should be both static and public) from the participants. This enables the SAS NC HealthConnex technical team to whitelist the provided IP addresses and avoid any secure file transfer protocol-related connection issues.
If you do, contact your network team to find out the internet protocol addresses of the computers from where you will access the secure file transfer protocol locations provided by the SAS NC HealthConnex technical team. Usually on a network that has several computers, the internet service provider provides an IP range, also known as the CIDR block. Do not forget to communicate to the network team that they should also provide the IP range (CIDR block) and that the IP addresses should be both static and public.
- If you do not have a network team, find out who your internet service provider is. There are several internet service provider, including AT&T, Comcast, Spectrum, Xfinity and many others. Find out from your internet service provider if they have set up a static IP for your computers. Unless you have purchased a static address from your internet service provider, they may assign you a new public IP address occasionally. A static IP, on the other hand, never changes.
- To find the public IP address of the computer from where you will be accessing the SAS secure file transfer protocol location, search for “what is my public IP” in Google, Bing, etc., or visit a website such as http://www.whatsmyip.org/.
You can receive notifications for patients with whom you have a current provider-patient relationship and when your role makes it generally appropriate to be informed about hospitalizations and other medical events. For example, an obstetric provider may choose to receive notifications only for patients who are currently expectant or within a defined postpartum period but not for all other patients.
In the current version, notifications are delivered to a primary point of contact via a secure batch file so that the information can be ingested into the participant’s scheduling tool, care coordination tool, electronic health records, etc.
Once per day or more spread out to once per month. With version 3.0, you also have the option of receiving notifications in real time.
In the current version, basic encounter information will be provided in notifications, such as facility name and diagnosis. In later versions (3.0 and 4.0), clinical information such as critical lab value received will be available via NC*Notify.
Participants will receive notifications regarding emergency department visits, hospital stays and ambulatory care visits, and the chief complaint and diagnosis are included in the output file. View the current data elements included in version 3.1.
Yes. NC*Notify will list every unique visit regardless of how frequently it occurs.
In later versions (3.0 and 4.0), clinical information such as critical lab value received will be available, along with chronic disease registry information, real-time message flow and disease state data. The new features were added during the summer and fall of 2020.
Full participants with clinical portal credentials who have enrolled in the NC*Notify V3+ and V4+ service will find the NC*Notify event notification and care coordination tool within the NC HealthConnex clinical portal. This tool will provide participants with a dashboard-like view of patient activity through event notifications.
To gain access to the NC*Notify Dashboard, please contact the SAS NC HealthConnex Help Desk at HIESupport@sas.com.
Please email your request to upgrade to the latest version of NC*Notify to firstname.lastname@example.org. The NC HIEA staff will reach out to schedule a meeting with the subscriber to review options and specifications. Based on these discussions, subscribers will be enrolled in the appropriate version of NC*Notify.
If an NC HealthConnex full participant is interested in enrolling in NC*Notify, they can fill out the enrollment form. The upgrades included in V4 and V4+ are below with descriptions of each for participants to choose from. New enrollees not using Auto-Attribution will automatically be enrolled into V4. If new enrollees will be submitting a patient panel, they will use the V4 Technical Specifications as their guide.
For Existing Subscribers:
- V2 Subscribers will be given 60 days, or until May 11, 2021, to complete their migration planning before migrating to NC*Notify V4 and V4+.
- V3 & V3+ Subscribers will be given 30 days, or until April 13, 2021, to complete their migration planning before the place of service enhancements are deployed. The panel format currently submitted to NC HealthConnex won’t change, but the file received will have additional fields. If the system hasn’t been updated to receive these files per the V4 Technical Specifications, it may cause problems when their system tries to ingest the new file.
- Current NC*Notify Dashboard Users will be made aware of the V4 and V4+ upgrades and instructed to email their requests for new upgrades to be added to an existing dashboard.
For current subscribers using the NC*Notify Dashboard, there is no action required. If your organization has not yet enrolled in NC*Notify, please complete an enrollment form.