North Carolina Health Information Exchange

Onramp to the information superhighway

Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC) and the North Carolina Health Information Exchange (NC HIE) are working together to improve physicians’ access to health care data and electronic medical records. The effort dovetails with CCNC’s long-term effort to get actionable data to clinicians and to identify opportunities to improve care and impact patients in thoughtful, targeted ways. Better IT will help physicians establish “meaningful use” of electronic records under federal laws and has the potential to improve the quality of care patients receive while restraining medical costs.

CCNC sees the partnership with the NC HIE as important first step toward more intelligent data use across North Carolina’s health care system. CCNC is serving as NC HIE’s first qualified organization (QO). A QO is an organization that connects its health care enterprises to a health information exchange in ways that meet exacting technical, legal and policy standards. The NC HIE provides QOs with a platform for exchanging information with other QOs, state and national agencies, payers, regional health information exchanges and other information sources.

CCNC has already begun onboarding health care providers to the information exchange. Among early adopters connecting to the health information exchange through CCNC will be free clinics and small medical practices participating in the NC Program to Advance Technology for Health (NC PATH), a collaboration between Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC), Allscripts and NC HIE. Other regional networks and IT providers are also expected to connect to the NC HIE in the coming months.

CCNC and NC HIE are also working collaboratively to create applications and services that support patient-centered medical home practices. One application will address the need for coordinated medication management for patients with chronic conditions who are prescribed multiple medications by more than one physician over long periods of time. It is hoped that better coordinated and informed medication management through improved IT will prevent complications and reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and readmissions.

Medical practices seeking additional information on connecting to the NC HIE should contact Chris Scarboro.  For more information on NC HIE, please visit their website via the link on the left-hand side of this page.