Connecting to NCIR via NC HealthConnex

The North Carolina Immunization Registry (NCIR) is a secure, web-based clinical tool that is the official source for North Carolina immunization information. The NCIR takes the place of outdated handwritten charting of immunizations administered in the state. Immunization providers may access all recorded immunizations administered in North Carolina, regardless of where the immunizations were given.

NCIR Data Exchange via NC HealthConnex to Promote Interoperability

The NCIR is onboarding NC HealthConnex participants to submit immunization information to the NCIR. Priority is given to participants enrolled in the Vaccines for Children  Program and have access to the NCIR portal.

Benefits of an Electronic Data Exchange Connection

Benefits of an electronic data exchange connection to NCIR via NC HealthConnex include:

  • It supports the Promoting Interoperability Public Health and Clinical Data Registry Reporting for Program Year 2019.
  • It provides expedited onboarding to NCIR for NC HealthConnex full participants, as additional federal funds have been allocated to this effort. Clinical testing can begin much faster once your practice is cleared for inventory compliance by the NCIR team.
  • It provides one consolidated data connection to manage sending to the state of North Carolina protected health information and personally identifiable information. The connection is more secure, requires less maintenance and reduces the risk of a security breach.
  • One data connection means less traffic and increased bandwidth.  The more external connections the provider has, the slower the electronic health record (EHR) and system response time will be.
  • One data connection means lower EHR interface maintenance costs for the provider.
  • For full participants of NC HealthConnex, have only one login for consolidated patient data. For participants with bidirectional data exchange enabled, access to NCIR and NC HealthConnex are available within their EHR (no additional logins).*

*Official immunization records must still be obtained via the NCIR portal. The clinical data in NC HealthConnex does not populate the registry. NC HealthConnex provides a passthrough of immunizations to NCIR for reporting purposes.

How to Connect

 1.  The first step in the process is to register intent at a state level with the NC DPH Immunization Registry.

       Register at https://ncdphmeaningfuluse.org/

2.  The second step in the process is to register intent with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Each of the entities above will follow-up regarding your respective registration.  For NCIR, you will receive an initial technical assessment and gap analysis to establish initial readiness and outline any possible gaps that can be addressed in parallel to the onboarding with NC HealthConnex (NC HIEA).  However, while we process your registration, we do ask that you work toward meeting our minimum technical requirements.  These will need to be met before onboarding can begin. 

Minimum technical requirements to connect to NCIR include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • EHR is a CEHRT capable of submission of the required test messages
  • NIST Certification  (testing on the NIST platform is recommended but NOT required)
  • HL7 2.5.1, release 1.5 implementation guide and release 1.5 addendum conformance
  • Capable of sending NDC codes for administered vaccines
  • Capable of sending and receiving VXU/ACK
  • Capable of sending and receiving QBP/RSP
  • Capable of displaying info received from NCIR in EHR
  • EHR displays HL7 acknowledgements
  • EHR display HL7 errors and warnings
  • Ability to submit the NCIR Required and Recommended fields

Note: Patient status, comments and mother’s maiden name are fields that can often slow onboarding. Please verify them in advance.

Live, In-Production Data Connections with NC HealthConnex

The N.C. Health Information Exchange Authority currently exchanges data with the following entities for the identified programs:

  • N.C. Division of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Division of Public Health, North Carolina Immunization Registry (this connection is only active for University Pediatrics at Highgate within the UNC Health Care System)
  • NCDHHS Division of Public Health Electronic Lab Reporting (this connection is active for UNC Health Care)
  • NCDHHS Division of Public Health for the N.C. Diabetes Specialized Public Health Registry

View participants using NCIR connection.

If you have questions about the opportunity to connect to the NCIR via NC HealthConnex and your technical readiness to do so, please reach out to HIE & Immunization Registry Specialist TorQuailla.Aultman@nc.gov or Jonas.Dusenberry@nc.gov.