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NC*Notify Frequently Asked Questions

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 service, the NC HealthConnex participant will provide a list of patients for whom it would like to receive the event notification. If one of those patients is admitted to a hospital for an ED or inpatient visit, or visits another participant organization, the participant will receive a notification alerting 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 that are submitted to NC HealthConnex, regardless of payer, are 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 NC HIEA, patient education materials are provided when the agreement is executed by NC HIEA. For more information on patient education and to request brochures, a sample Notice of Privacy Practices, and other materials, please contact hiea@nc.gov. Patients can obtain opt out forms at the following link: https://hiea.nc.gov/patients/your-choices. Please note that opt out forms must be mailed to NC HIEA through USPS or a similar mail carrier and cannot be emailed to NC HIEA.

Is there a limitation of how many patients I can send on an Inbound Patient File?

Is there a limitation of how many patients I can send on an Inbound Patient File?

No. Just ensure you are following all requirements outlined on 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 on the patient list is managed by the participant receiving 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 (DSM))
  • Mechanism for receiving alerts (Secure FTP or Direct Secure Messaging (DSM))
What is the difference between Direct Secure Messaging (DSM) and Secure File Transfer Protocol (sFTP)?

What is the difference between Direct Secure Messaging (DSM) and Secure File Transfer Protocol (sFTP)?

DSM is similar to secure web e-mail and is specifically designed for the exchange of patient health information across various EHR networks.

sFTP is a way to transfer and receive files securely; however, it usually requires more technical configuration than DSM. This option is not recommended for practices who do not have technical resources.

When connecting to NC*Notify, how do I determine whether DSM or sFTP is the best choice for my facility?

When connecting to NC*Notify, how do I determine whether DSM or sFTP is the best choice for my facility?

DSM is the easier method of the two options during technical onboarding. If using DSM, the patient file will be sent and retrieved as an attachment, with no automated abilities available.

sFTP allows you to connect via a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client such as WinSCP or FileZilla giving the ability to automate file uploads and downloads. sFTP may require the facility to have a technical resource available to set this up.

How do I create a patient panel?

How do I create a patient panel?

We suggest that you work with your EHR vendor to create a patient panel that meets the specifications for NC*Notify. Specifications for the file are located on our website, or you can click here. 

If your EHR vendor is unable to help you create a patient panel, feel free to reach out for additional HIE support.

 

 

 

The following only applies if you choose sFTP:

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 IP 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 sFTP 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 the Network Team to find out the IP addresses of the computers from where you will access the sFTP locations provided by the SAS NC HealthConnex technical team. Usually on a network that has several computers, the internet service provider (ISP) 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 ISP is. There are several ISPs and you are probably including: AT&T, Comcast, Spectrum, Xfinity or one of the many others. Find out from your ISP if they have set up a static IP for your computers.  Unless you have purchased a static address from your ISP, 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 sFTP location,  search for “what is my public IP” in Google, Bing, etc. or visit a website such as http://www.whatsmyip.org/. See the example provided below. The snapshot below shows the IP address of the computer accessing the website was accessed.

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 a hospitalization or other medical event. For example, an Obstetric provider may choose to receive notifications only for patients that are currently expectant or within a defined postpartum period, but not for all other patients.

How will I or my health care organization receive notifications?

How will I or my health care organization 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, EHR, 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 the notifications such as facility name, and diagnosis.  In later versions (V3.0 and V4.0) clinical information such as critical lab value received will be available via NC*Notify.

Will I receive discharge summaries at discharge, or chief complaint at admission?

Will I receive discharge summaries at discharge, or chief complaint at admission?

Yes, 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. To view current data elements included in V2.0, click here.

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 (V3.0 and V4.0) clinical information such as critical lab value received will be available along with disease 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 to hiea@nc.gov. If you have questions about the enrollment process call HIEA provider relations at (919) 754-6912.