Health care providers in North Carolina now have one more tool in their toolkit to help improve care coordination for their patients. NC HealthConnex, the state-designated health information exchange, is now offering real-time event notifications to participants through NC*Notify, giving them more detailed information about patient populations.
Real-time event notifications through NC HealthConnex's NC*Notify service are especially important for community-based primary care providers, post-acute facilities, health insurers and value-based care organizations that employ care teams to provide critical follow-up after patients are admitted and discharged from the emergency department or inpatient stays in hospitals.
“Having access to timely information about when our patients are seen at the hospital is always important to deliver better care. But especially during a public health crisis such as COVID-19, having access to timely notifications when my patients have been admitted or released from the hospital helps our staff schedule important follow up care with our patients,” said Dr. Harriett Burns, associate medical director and primary care provider at Piedmont Health Services Inc., an NC*Notify subscriber, and member of the N.C. Health Information Exchange Authority Advisory Board.
Additionally, the NC*Notify service has been enhanced to offer a web-based care coordination application.
In March 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service released final rules that require hospitals to provide these electronic notifications to other health care providers when a patient is admitted to the hospital or visits the emergency department as a Condition of Participation (CoP) for Medicare and Medicaid.
“Based on admission, discharge and transfer data received from more than 100 participating hospitals plus encounter data from more than 6,000 ambulatory care settings, the NC*Notify real-time event notifications provide care teams with valuable information that spans geography and care settings and support state and federal efforts to focus on patient-centered care,” said Christie Burris, executive director for the NC HIEA, the state entity that manages NC HealthConnex.
Benefits to health care providers and patients from timely routing of electronic event notifications include:
- Giving providers insight to check in with patients after events and to schedule follow-up appointments for clinical interventions
- Reducing avoidable hospital readmissions and improves coordination across the care continuum
- Helping providers achieve financial goals under value-based care contracts
The NC HIEA’s NC*Notify newly-released version is built on the Encounter Notification Service, ENS, Audacious Inquiry's leading care coordination platform that is currently used by interoperability-driven organizations in 12 states, representing more than 60 million active patient subscriptions. Additionally, the service incorporates data from national networks, including the Patient Centered Data Home (PCDH) managed by the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC) that has distributed 1 billion total event notifications nationwide.
NC*Notify is a subscription-based service that notifies providers as their patients receive services across the care continuum, spanning geography, health care systems, acute and ambulatory care settings, etc. NC*Notify highlights provider focus areas including custom lists that allow cohorts of patients tuned to providers’ interests and offers custom delivery methods that integrate into various provider workflows.