Wednesday, July 19, 2017 - 00:00

NC HealthConnex Poised for Growth; Adds 3 of State’s Largest Health Care Systems, Regional Health Information Exchange

Duke Health, Novant Health and Carolinas HealthCare System have signed agreements to connect to NC HealthConnex, North Carolina’s state-designated health information exchange. Additionally, Coastal Connect, a regional HIE in southeastern North Carolina, has formally agreed to connect to NC HealthConnex.
RALEIGH
Jul 19, 2017

Duke Health, Novant Health and Carolinas HealthCare System have signed agreements to connect to NC HealthConnex, North Carolina’s state-designated health information exchange.

Additionally, Coastal Connect, a regional HIE in southeastern North Carolina, has formally agreed to connect to NC HealthConnex. This connection will add five hospitals and more than 100 data contributors, acute and ambulatory, to the growing statewide HIE.

They join foundational participant UNC Health Care and 26 hospitals that are connected or in the queue for connection to NC HealthConnex. In addition to hospital and health system integrations, NC HealthConnex is in the process of connecting with hundreds of physician practices, health departments, federally qualified health centers, rural health clinics and other ambulatory facilities that use cloud-based and on-premise electronic health/medical record (EHR/EMR) solutions.

In the past year, the total number of unique patients in NC HealthConnex grew by almost 30 percent, totaling close to 3.7 million.

NC HealthConnex is a secure electronic network that facilitates conversations between health care providers, allowing them to access and share health-related information across North Carolina to improve coordination of care for patients. NC HealthConnex allows participating providers to access their patients’ comprehensive records across multiple providers, as well as review labs, diagnostics, history, allergies, medications and more to help decrease redundancy and allow for more efficient and accurate diagnoses, recommendations and treatment.

Created by the North Carolina General Assembly (NCGS 90-414.7), NC HealthConnex is the state-operated health information exchange and is managed by the North Carolina Health Information Exchange Authority (NC HIEA) housed within the N.C. Department of Information Technology.

Quotes

N.C. Department of Information Technology

“The participation of these large systems adds to NC HealthConnex’s steady rate of growth since it began operations in early 2016, and will help improve health care quality and outcomes for all North Carolinians. In the past year, the total number of unique patients in NC HealthConnex grew by almost 30 percent, totaling close to 3.7 million,” said Eric Boyette, secretary and state chief information officer for the N.C. Department of Information Technology.

“The North Carolina Health Information Exchange Authority is committed to linking all health care providers across North Carolina to help break down the silos that can exist between disparate systems and technologies," said Christie Burris, acting director of the NC HIEA. "The connection of these established systems to NC HealthConnex means that clinical data generated by Duke Health, Novant Health, Carolinas HealthCare and the participating entities of the Coastal Connect HIE is available in near real-time to every other organization in the NC HealthConnex Network.”

N.C. Department of Health and Human Services

“Health data exchange is a critical component for building a high quality, sustainable health care system,” said Mandy Cohen, M.D., secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. “I am pleased at the progress NC HealthConnex is making to facilitate access to actionable clinical data that supports clinicians and helps them deliver the best quality care.”

Carolinas HealthCare System

“NC HIEA has taken great strides to bring hospitals across the state together by aggregating the data to help improve health care issues facing our communities,” said Craig Richardville, chief information and analytics officer and senior vice president for Carolinas HealthCare System. “This partnership has the potential to improve the delivery of health care statewide.”

Coastal Connect Health Information Exchange

“Coastal Connect HIE’s connection with NC HealthConnex will be another big step in our ongoing collaboration to support improved health care throughout the state. We are excited to continue advancing health care technology to better serve the patients in our communities,” said Yvonne Hughes, chief executive officer of Coastal Connect.

Duke Health

“Duke is pleased to connect to NC HealthConnex, and join a growing community of provider organizations with the shared goal of delivering outstanding care to the citizens of North Carolina,” said Jeffrey M. Ferranti, M.D., vice president and chief information officer of Duke Health.

Novant Health

“Sharing records and connecting systems is the next step in the journey to providing more efficient, personalized care for our patients and communities,” said A.J. Patefield, M.D., Novant Health chief medical information officer. “Through the successful implementation, adoption and optimization of our electronic health record, we are delivering on our promise to provide world-class technology that supports high-quality, affordable and convenient care for our patients. This is just one more way we are enhancing the coordination of care for our patients.”

About

N.C. Health Information Exchange Authority

The N.C. Health Information Exchange Authority operates North Carolina’s state-operated health information exchange, NC HealthConnex. NC HealthConnex is a secure, standardized electronic system in which providers can share important patient health information. 

The NC HIEA is committed to its mission: to connect health care providers to safely and securely share health information through a trusted network to improve health care quality and outcomes for North Carolinians.

N.C. Department of Information Technology

The N.C. Department of Information Technology provides technology services to state agencies and other government customers across North Carolina. Services include hosting, network, telecommunications, desktop computing, project management services, data analytics and unified communications such as email and calendaring. The department operates under the leadership of the state chief information officer, as appointed by the governor. The state CIO provides direct management over IT operations and has statewide IT responsibilities, including technical architecture, procurement, project management and security.

Coastal Connect Health Information Exchange

Coastal Connect Health Information Exchange (CCHIE) was established in 2009 by hospital stakeholders who deployed HIE technology in 2011 to securely connect unaffiliated ambulatory and acute health care providers in southeastern North Carolina for electronic sharing of patient care information to support patient-centric care transition between providers, reduce redundant testing and realize efficiencies in workflow. CCHIE is governed by a multidisciplinary board composed of representatives from stakeholder hospitals community practices, the state Medicaid management entity, and a community representative. CCHIE’s sustainability model is supported by its founding stakeholders as well as ambulatory provider participation fees. More than 7.2 million patient encounters are indexed on the HIE’s patient search tool, which allows HIE participants access to care documents from more than 110 acute and ambulatory data contributors, including lab results, pathology results, radiology results, discharge summaries, encounter information, demographics and CCDs.

Carolinas HealthCare System

Carolinas HealthCare System, one of the nation’s leading and most innovative health care organizations, provides a full spectrum of health care and wellness programs throughout North and South Carolina. Its diverse network of care locations includes academic medical centers, hospitals, freestanding emergency departments, physician practices, surgical and rehabilitation centers, home health agencies, nursing homes and behavioral health centers, as well as hospice and palliative care services. Carolinas HealthCare System works to enhance the overall health and wellbeing of its communities through high-quality patient care, education and research programs, and numerous collaborative partnerships and initiatives.

Novant Health

Novant Health is an integrated network of physician clinics, outpatient facilities and hospitals that delivers a seamless and convenient health care experience to communities in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Named in 2016 by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the nation’s 150 best places to work in health care, Novant Health network consists of more than 1,500 physicians and more than 26,000 employees that provide care at more than 470 locations, including 14 medical centers and hundreds of outpatient facilities and physician clinics. Headquartered in Winston-Salem, the health system serves more than 4.4 million patients annually, and in 2016 provided more than $725.5 million in community benefit, including charity care and services. Diversity MBA has recognized the organization as one of the 50 best places for women and managers of diverse background to work. SK&A ranks Novant Health among the top 25 integrated health systems in the nation. Novant Health provides care in Virginia under the joint operating company, Novant Health UVA Health System.