North Carolina, the VA to Use Health Information Exchange to Support Improved Care Coordination for Veterans Over 800,000 NC Veterans will have the chance to opt in for electronic health records

Raleigh, N.C.

NC HealthConnex, North Carolina’s state-designated health information exchange, is partnering with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Health Information Exchange (VHIE) to make veterans’ health records available through a secure, standardized electronic system to private health care providers, ensuring up-to-date medical records for former service members are available no matter where they are treated.

This partnership allows a more complete picture of veterans’ health, providing immunization records, lab results, medications, and procedure results and will reduce the need for patients and their families to request paper records.

“Many veterans in North Carolina receive care both in the VA system and from non-VA community health care providers,” said Secretary of the NC Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Larry Hall. “Care coordination is critical to quality of care and patient safety. The ability for North Carolina providers treating our veterans to have secure access to clinical information via the VA Health Information Exchange (VHIE) through their connection to NC HealthConnex will enhance the ability to coordinate complex care across multiple systems.”

North Carolina is home to over 800,000 veterans and is the fastest growing region for VA health care in the United States. Veterans enrolled and receiving care at a VA medical center, must opt in to the exchange through the “Connect Your Docs” program. Currently, more than 200,000 veterans across the country have opted in to share their health records via VHIE.  

“The Department of Information Technology and the North Carolina Health Information Exchange Authority (NC HIEA) are pleased to establish a connection between VHIE and NC HealthConnex,” said Secretary of the NC Department of Information Technology and State CIO Eric Boyette. “Enabling these safe and secure electronic communications means the the VA and community health care providers can access more key health care information in near real time, instead of days or weeks — enabling them to quickly make informed decisions that result in better care.”

This electronic exchange of health information data is made possible through the national eHealth Exchange network. North Carolina signed the Data Use and Reciprocal Service Agreement (DURSA) with the eHealth Exchange in March, clearing the way for NC HealthConnex to access health information from federal agencies and across state lines. NC HealthConnex has recently gone live with a connection to the Georgia Health Information Network (GaHIN) and will be connecting with more neighboring states in 2018.

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About the North Carolina Health Information Exchange Authority

In 2015, the North Carolina General Assembly established a state-managed Health Information Exchange Authority (NC HIEA) to oversee and administer the NC Health Information Exchange Network (NCGS 90-414.7). Housed within the NC Department of Information Technology’s (DIT) Government Data Analytics Center (GDAC), the NC HIEA operates North Carolina’s statewide health information exchange--now called NC HealthConnex. NC HealthConnex is a secure, standardized electronic system in which providers can share important patient health information. The use of this system promotes the access, exchange, and analysis of health information to help improve care coordination, quality of care, and enable better health outcomes. To learn more, visit nchealthconnex.gov.

About the eHealth Exchange

The eHealth Exchange is a health information exchange network for securely sharing clinical information over the Internet nationwide. The eHealth Exchange spans all 50 states and is the largest health information exchange infrastructure in the US. eHealth Exchange participants include large provider networks, hospitals, pharmacies, regional health information exchanges and many federal agencies. It represents 40% of U.S. hospitals, tens of thousands of medical groups, more than 8,000 pharmacies and 100 million patients.

 

The North Carolina Department of Information Technology promotes a stronger North Carolina through broadband, public safety, healthcare, cybersecurity and customer service. For more information about the North Carolina Department of information Technology, visit https://it.nc.gov/ or follow @NCDIT on Twitter.

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