NC HIE Prepares to Launch Portal for Physicians

NC HIE Testing_030312North Carolina Health Information Exchange (NC HIE), a nonprofit organization incorporated in April 2010 as a State Designated Entity (SDE), conducted their first external testing this week for the Health Information Exchange Portal, a web-based program that gives physicians access to a central location where health information regarding mutual patients can be shared.

Audrey Moore, NC HIE Interface and Testing Engineer, facilitated the testing between the following volunteers: Karen Smith, MD, FAAFP, PA, NCMS member and former Community Practitioner Program (CPP) participant; Terri Gonzalez, NCMS Foundation Practice Technical Assistance Coordinator; Mitch Goldman, of Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC); and Jessica Reed and Wayne Lewis of Regional Extension South East Area Health Education Center (SEAHEC).

“Based on the success of the testing, it is clear that the portal will allow physicians to understand and utilize health information that flows from individual physician records to NC HIE and eventually to other physicians who are taking care of the same patient,” said Gonzalez.

As the first NC HIE Qualified Organization (QO), CCNC will begin initiating practice participation to the portal in coming weeks.

Participants of the North Carolina Program to Advance Technology for Health (NC PATH) will be among the first entities to utilize the portal. NC PATH, a Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) initiative, partnered with NC HIE, as well as Allscripts MyWay™ to provide electronic health record (EHR) software and support to connect health care professionals across the state.

“Getting the HIE portal up and running is a process that has required many hours of planning, not just the technology of it, but also the operational side of implementing the appropriate business structures and privacy and security policies. Our goal is to bring a valuable information sharing tool to the market that benefits health care providers and consumers,” said Keith Scott, Chief Technology Officer of NC HIE.

Using HIE technology, like the portal, can improve care, save time and cut down on costs. “Like any new technology, participants and their staff will need to take the time to learn how to use the HIE portal,” said Scott. “Taking the time now will dramatically improve the care and time spent with patients in the future.”

NC HIE will be providing online tools and tutorials to assist participants with the HIE portal. A large volume of participants will increase the flow of the information, and overall, the benefit of utilizing the portal.

More information about NC HIE educational resources will be featured in upcoming issues of the Bulletin.


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