How to Connect

Doctor looking at medical data on a tablet

NC HealthConnex is on a mission to link every health care provider in North Carolina to improve health care quality and outcomes. 

Interested providers are invited 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. These calls are held at noon on the last Monday of every month. Register to participate in the next call, scheduled for September 28, 2020.

The NC HealthConnex technology and tools provide near real-time, comprehensive clinical data about your patients. In general, getting connected involves completing the following steps.

1) Technology in place: The N.C. Health Information Exchange Authority's participation agreement requests that EHRs be minimally capable of sending HL7 messages, version 2 and higher. The first step is to have the ability to send HL7 messages (version 2.0 and higher) to enable a technical connection and data submission to NC HealthConnex. EHR products that are ONC certified for meaningful use for the for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Incentive Programs are preferred.    

There are two ways to access NC HealthConnex: via the clinical portal or EHR integration.

  • Clinical portal access: The NC HIEA team works with each facility to establish secure access to our clinical portal to view available information. We provide portal training to designated users and prepare staff to educate patients about participation.
  • EHR Integration: The NC HIEA team is working with several EHR vendors to build technical solutions that will allow the data from NC HealthConnex to be integrated within participants' EHR systems to avoid interruptions in workflow.

In attachment 3 on page 31 of the participation agreement, health care providers are asked to provide information about their practice, including their EHR vendor and what health system or regional HIE their organization is a member of. Please also review that same attachment for the technical specifications, targeted data standards and on-boarding process with which you are required to comply.

See the list of EHR vendors that are live and sending data to NC HealthConnex. We are continuously connecting to additional vendors who are capable of sending HL7 or CCD messages, and they will be added to the website as they go live.

When choosing an EHR vendor, please provide these minimum requirements.

Note: Legislation has been introduced in the NC General Assembly (NCSL 2020-3) that could impact certain providers’ connectivity requirements should the legislation be signed into law. Prior to signing any contractual agreement for EHR technology, please review whether these potential changes could affect your organization.

2) Participation agreement: Each new facility is required to sign a participation agreement governing its connection to NC HealthConnex. At this time and for the foreseeable future, there are no fees to connect. Please note: After March 31, 2018, the NC HIEA will no longer accept the 2016 participation agreement that pre-dates those linked below. After March 31, 2018, all new participation agreements submitted to the NC HIEA for execution will need to be one of those linked below.

  • The full participation agreement, now aligned with federal standards (the Data Use and Reciprocal Support Agreement, or DURSA) allows providers full use of the NC HealthConnex current and future value-added features, as well as meet the state’s requirement for submission of clinical and demographic data.
  • The submission-only participation agreement enables a provider to submit the clinical and demographic data required by law in a one-way technical connection in order to be in compliance. However, this agreement prohibits all other data exchange services, including HIE query/data exchange and clinical registries.

Read and review the entire NC HIEA participation agreement with your legal department, contract administrator or other authorized staff member. Please read the instructions carefully. Missing or inaccurate information will delay processing of your agreement. If you have already signed a previous participation agreement with the NC HIEA, signing and executing a new document will replace and supersede any previous participation agreements.

3) Business associate agreement: In attachment 5 on page 36 of the full participation agreement, health care providers should review the business associate agreement, and include the legal entity name of the provider or facility next to “name of participant.” Sign on page 39 under “Covered Entity.”

4) Notices: In attachment 1 on page 29 of the full participation agreement, please provide the contact information for your organization where you will receive formal notices from the NC HIEA.

5) Participant staff contact information: The next step is to identify three points of contact within your medical practice that will collaborate with the NC HIEA and our technology partner, SAS Institute, to complete a successful connection. These are the participant account administrator, contract administrator and technical resource.

  • Participant account administrator – The participant account administrator will serve as the health care facility’s primary point of contact. In attachment 2 on page 30 of the full participation agreement, provide the name and contact information for your participant account administrator, contract administrator (legal contact) and technical services contact (chief information officer or other technical support contact) where indicated. If one person fulfills multiple roles, please indicate this on the form.

6) Participating entities: In attachment 4 on pages 34 and 35 of the full participation agreement, please identify your participating entities, if applicable. Please see section 2.37 in the full participation agreement for the definition of a participating entity.

7) NC HIEA policies and procedures: NC HIEA participants shall abide by all policies and procedures established by the NC HIEA, including the privacy and security policies and user access policies. These policies adopted by NC HIEA describe the management, operation and maintenance of NC HealthConnex; the qualifications, requirements and activities of participants and authorized users when accessing NC HealthConnex; sending messages and using the NC HealthConnex value-added features; and other important topics. These policies also address the transaction of messages over the eHealth Exchange through NC HealthConnex.

8) Submitting the agreement: Once your participation agreement is completed by your health care organization, you can submit the agreement in one of two ways:

  • Email the completed pdf document to (preferred method).
  • Submit it via mail to:
    N.C. Health Information Exchange Authority
    Mail Service Center 4101
    Raleigh, NC 27699-4101

Due to the recent volume of agreements submitted, please allow 6-8 weeks to receive your executed agreement. As long as you have submitted a participation agreement, your Medicaid reimbursements will not be adversely effected.

Learn More and Get in Touch

To learn more about getting connected to NC HealthConnex, see these frequently asked questions.

Interested in connecting? Complete the NC HealthConnex interest form.

Or call 919-754-6912 to speak with a member of the NC HIEA business development team and/or request a demo. You may also email us at