The N.C. Health Information Exchange Authority recently completed a pilot program to integrate pharmacy data into the state-designated health information exchange, NC HealthConnex.
Pharmacies are included in the provider types required to connect to NC HealthConnex under the Statewide Health Information Exchange Act. The completion of this pilot opens the way for pharmacies to fulfill the connection mandate and begin submitting data for patients receiving state funds, such as those covered by Medicaid or the State Health Plan.
This connection benefits pharmacists who often lack access to patient information such as lab results and allergies. Pharmacists can benefit from knowing their patients’ functional and cognitive skills and medicines and can help ensure that patients are not prescribed medications potentially harmful for their conditions.
With NC HealthConnex, providers can access patients’ comprehensive records across facilities, review labs, diagnostics and allergies, and access medication history to reduce medication errors and confirm with lab results that medications are working.
Other providers can also benefit from having access to pharmacy dispense data in NC HealthConnex. Those providers who are full participants in the state HIE can not only submit but also view the patient data submitted to NC HealthConnex. With data from the new pharmacy participants, providers can see when patients have picked up the medications they have prescribed.
Having this exchange of patient information between providers creates a fuller picture of a patient’s health. This can reduce redundant lab tests, improve diagnoses and treatment, and improve coordination across all levels of care for patients in North Carolina.