NC*Notify FAQs

About NC*Notify

How does the NC*Notify event notification service work?

How does the NC*Notify event notification service work?

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.

Is there a cost for NC*Notify?

Is there a cost for NC*Notify?

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.

Do I need to get my patients’ permission?

Do I need to get my patients’ permission?

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 hiea@nc.gov. Find opt-out forms. Please note that opt-out forms cannot be emailed ot NC HIEA and must be mailed to NC HIEA through the U.S. Postal Service or a similar mail carrier.

Is there a limitation on how many patients I can send in an inbound patient file?

Is there a limitation on how many patients I can send in an inbound patient file?

No. Just ensure that you are following all the requirements outlined in the enrollment form and technical specifications document.

How is patient attribution managed?

How is patient attribution managed?

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.

Getting Enrolled

How do I enroll?

How do I enroll?

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)
What is the difference between direct secure messaging and secure file transfer protocol?

What is the difference between direct secure messaging and secure file transfer protocol?

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.

When connecting to NC*Notify, how do I determine whether direct secure messaging or secure file transfer protocol is the best choice for my facility?

When connecting to NC*Notify, how do I determine whether direct secure messaging or secure file transfer protocol is the best choice for my facility?

Direct secure messsaging is the easier method of the two options during technical onboarding. If using direct secure messsaging, 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.

How do I create a patient panel?

How do I create a patient panel?

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.

Do you have a network team that takes care of setting up internet connections? Do you have multiple computers connected to your network?

Do you have a network team that takes care of setting up internet connections? Do you have multiple computers connected to your network?

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/.

Receiving Notifications

May I receive event notifications for any patient?

May I receive event notifications for any patient?

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.

How will my health care organization or I receive notifications?

How will my health care organization or I receive notifications?

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.

How frequently can I receive a notification file?

How frequently can I receive a notification file?

Once per day or more spread out to once per month. In version 3.0 (spring 2020), you’ll also have the option of receiving notifications in real time.

Notification Information

What information will I receive about an encounter?

What information will I receive about an encounter?

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.

Will I receive discharge summaries at discharge or chief complaints at admission?

Will I receive discharge summaries at discharge or chief complaints at admission?

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 2.0.

If my patient is admitted to the same emergency room twice in one day for different reasons, will NC*Notify tell me about both visits?

If my patient is admitted to the same emergency room twice in one day for different reasons, will NC*Notify tell me about both visits?

Yes. NC*Notify will list every unique visit regardless of how frequently it occurs.

Will NC*Notify tell me clinical information such as medication lists and lab results?

Will NC*Notify tell me clinical information such as medication lists and lab results?

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 will be added during the summer and fall of 2020. 

NC HealthConnex participants should complete the enrollment form, and submit it to hiea@nc.gov. If you have questions about the enrollment process, call HIEA provider relations at (919) 754-6912.