NC HIEA Announces Partnership to Enhance Training Opportunities for Participating Providers


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) to increase training opportunities for health care providers participating in the state-designated health information exchange (HIE), NC HealthConnex. 

NC HealthConnex is a secure, standardized 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.

“The State of North Carolina has invested in a modernized HIE network that supports health care providers statewide to break down information silos, achieve greater health care outcomes for patients, and create efficiencies in state-funded health care programs such as Medicaid,” said Christie Burris, executive director of the NC Health Information Exchange Authority. “Our partnership with NC AHEC will help provide participating providers with ongoing education resources to leverage the additional point of care information within NC HealthConnex.” 

The NC AHEC Program provides and supports educational activities and services with a focus on primary care in rural and under-resourced communities to recruit, train and retain the workforce needed to create a healthy North Carolina.

“We are honored to partner with NC HIEA to assist practices across the state as they navigate NC HealthConnex and utilize the features available on the network,” shared Hugh Tilson, director of the NC AHEC Program. “This platform has the ability to transform the way providers deliver care in their communities, and we are excited to help facilitate that.” 

As NC HealthConnex has been rapidly adding Medicaid providers to its statewide network, the NC HIEA aims to better train and prepare those providers to utilize the HIE in their clinical workflows. Together, NC HIEA and NC AHEC plan to provide ongoing education opportunities to participants of NC HealthConnex through approved funding by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 

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

The NC AHEC Program has 35 practice support coaches trained to work with providers and clinic staff across the state. These coaches have helped more than 6,000 providers at 1,400 practices move toward promoting interoperability (formerly meaningful use) of their electronic health records; nearly 600 practices with Medicaid Transformation education and issue resolution; over 500 practices improve office systems for better care; and more than 300 practices achieve patient-centered medical home recognition. The NC HIEA has historically worked with NC AHEC to ensure this team is up to speed on NC HealthConnex recruiting efforts and technical features to share with the practices they work with on a regular basis.  

Created by the North Carolina General Assembly (NCGS 90-414.7), NC HealthConnex is the state-designated health information exchange and is managed by the North Carolina Health Information Exchange Authority (NC HIEA), a part of the N.C. Department of Information Technology. Additionally, legislation requires that health care providers who receive State funds for the provision of health care services (e.g. Medicaid, State Health Plan) connect to NC HealthConnex by certain dates.

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