RALEIGH, N.C., June 30, 2014 – UNC Health Care facilities are the first in the Triangle to go live on the North Carolina Health Information Exchange (NC HIE) integrated Direct Secure Messaging (DSM) solution. Using DSM enables UNC Health Care and its facilities to comply with federal standards and communicate with a broader group of health care providers statewide in order to improve care for patients. The participating facilities include the University of North Carolina Hospitals, UNC Physicians Network, Rex Hospital and Chatham Hospital.
UNC Health Care also recently went live in the Triangle on Epic, a nationally certified electronic health record system, which when interfaced with NC HIE’s Direct Secure Messaging solution allows UNC physicians to share patient health data with North Carolina providers on any EHR system, not just other facilities using the Epic software.
“Integrating NC HIE’s Direct Secure Messaging solution with Epic@UNC allows us to exchange patient data with health care providers statewide and fulfill Meaningful Use requirements,” said Tracy Parham, UNC Health Care’s Chief Information Officer. “This is another step toward our goal of providing coordinated, real-time data for both patients and care providers."
Meaningful Use, a federal incentive program to promote the adoption and smart use of health IT systems, requires that healthcare facilities securely and electronically send patient health records when transitioning or referring their patients to another care setting. The goal of the program is to substantially improve health outcomes by equipping providers with a patient’s up-to-date and comprehensive medical history at the point of care in order to reduce medical errors and unnecessary and duplicate testing.
“NC HIE’s Direct Secure Messaging offers participants a secure way to electronically exchange patient health information with caregivers statewide regardless of the EHR system that they utilize,” said NC HIE’s President, Chris Scarboro. “NC HIE has the unique ability to connect the entire state by being EHR vendor-agnostic, resulting in increased efficiency, cost savings and improved outcomes for North Carolina’s healthcare system.”
NC HIE’s Direct Secure Messaging solution provides the functionality to eliminate lost or displaced paper records that have been faxed or mailed between provider offices while also increasing Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance.
Currently, 33 hospitals and more than 700 physician practices are participants of NC HIE. For a full listing of NC HIE participating organizations, visit http://nchie.org/providers/our-providers/.
About UNC Health Care
The UNC Health Care System is a not-for-profit integrated health care system owned by the state of North Carolina and based in Chapel Hill. It exists to further the teaching mission of the University of North Carolina and to provide state-of-the-art patient care. UNC Health Care is comprised of UNC Hospitals, ranked consistently among the best medical centers in the country; the UNC School of Medicine, a nationally eminent research institution; community practices; home health and hospice services in seven central North Carolina counties; Pardee Hospital in Hendersonville, NC; Chatham Hospital in Siler City, NC; High Point Regional Hospital in High Point, NC; Caldwell Memorial Hospital in Lenoir, NC; Johnston Health in Smithfield, NC; Nash Health Care in Rocky Mount, NC; and Rex Healthcare and its provider network in Wake County.
About NC HIE and CCNC
In February 2013, the North Carolina Health Information Exchange (NC HIE) and Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC) announced an agreement to work together to facilitate the secure transfer of patient data in an effort to improve physicians’ access to healthcare data and electronic health records. This partnership seeks to provide medical professionals across North Carolina with the information they need to make the best medical decisions for their patients. This collaboration will help improve the quality of care patients receive, control medical costs and put physicians on the right path to achieve Meaningful Use (MU). To learn more about NC HIE, visit www.nchie.org. To learn more about CCNC, visit www.communitycarenc.org.