Practices in North Carolina can connect to North Carolina’s State-designated health information exchange (HIE), NC HealthConnex. NC HealthConnex is a tool that links different systems and existing HIE networks together to deliver a more complete view of the patient record. This integration supports the automated submission of patient data from your Practice Fusion EHR to NC HealthConnex by simply signing an encounter note. The patient’s clinical data will be sent as an HL7 Continuity of Care Document (CCD) to NC HealthConnex.
Follow the steps below to activate your connection and begin data transmission.
1. Add NC HealthConnex HIE Integration to your practice’s subscription plan. To connect with NC HealthConnex, your practice must sign up for the NC HealthConnex HIE Integration as an add-on to your Practice Fusion EHR subscription plan. Click Account and then Upgrade (see Graphic 1 below) and follow the workflow to add the NC HealthConnex HIE integration to your practice’s subscription plan.
Graphic 1: Upgrade EHR Plan
2. View the connection status of the NC HealthConnex integration. Navigate to Practice settings and click Clinical data integrations (see Graphic 2 below) to manage data transmission authorization and view details of your practice’s clinical data exchange connections. Once your practice has added the integration to your plan, your practice’s connection status will show as Pending: awaiting completion of HIE onboarding (see Graphic 3 below).
Graphic 2: Clinical Data Integrations Settings
Graphic 3: Connection Status Pending - Awaiting Completion of HIE Onboarding
3. Complete onboarding with NC HealthConnex. Your practice must complete and sign the NC HealthConnex Participation Agreement. The Participation Agreement is the governing agreement with the North Carolina Health Information Exchange Authority (NC HIEA) that must be completed to connect. Review, sign, and return the agreement via email to email@example.com or by mail (electronic submission is preferred). For more information and further instruction, visit the NC HIEA website. If your practice is subject to the June 1, 2018 mandate, request an extension with NC HIEA during your onboarding to ensure you have enough time to complete all of the required steps as listed below.
4. Authorize data transmission. Once Practice Fusion receives confirmation from NC HealthConnex that your practice has completed onboarding, you will receive detailed instructions via email on how to authorize data transmission. An administrator in your practice must authorize data transmission within the Clinical data integrations setting in your EHR to activate the connection for the practice as shown in Graphic 4 below. Click Authorize data transmission and confirm your agreement by accepting the terms to authorize data transmission on behalf of the entire practice.
Graphic 4: Authorize Data Transmission
5. Confirm your connection is active. Upon completing data transmission authorization, your practice’s connection status will change to Active (see Graphic 5 below). A status of Active indicates that data transmission is enabled and each time a chart note is signed, a CCD will be generated and transmitted from your Practice Fusion EHR to NC HealthConnex. The name of the practice admin who authorized data transmission will be displayed for future reference. Admins can also select View transmission authorization to review the transmission authorization agreement at any time.
Graphic 5: Connection Status - Active
6. Verify CCD transmission from your EHR to NC HealthConnex. You can verify the date of the most recent data transmission by checking Last Transmission in the Clinical data integrations setting (see Graphic 6 below).
Graphic 6: View Last Transmission
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What data will be transmitted to NC HealthConnex?
A: Patient data will be sent to NC HealthConnex in a Continuity of Care Document (CCD). The sections of the patient chart that are included in a CCD are: Allergies, Assessment & Plan, Encounters, Functional Status, Goals, Health Concerns, Immunizations, Medical Equipment, Medications, Mental (Cognitive) Status, Diagnoses, Procedures, Referrals, Results (Labs), Social History, and Vital Signs. For more information on what data is included in a CCD, click here.
Q: How often does patient data get transmitted?
A: Each time a chart note is signed, a CCD for the patient will be generated and transmitted from your EHR to NC HealthConnex. The data transmission from Practice Fusion to NC HealthConnex is an automated process. You do not need to do anything other than sign a chart note to transmit data to NC HealthConnex.
Q: What is the mandate to connect to NC HealthConnex?
A: All health care providers who receive state funds (e.g., Medicaid, NC Health Choice, State Health Plan, etc.) for the provision of health care services must connect to NC HealthConnex by specific dates in 2018 and 2019 to continue to receive payments for services provided (NCSL 2015-241 as amended by NCSL 2017-57).
Hospitals, physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners who provide Medicaid services and who have an electronic health record system must connect by June 1, 2018.
All other providers of Medicaid and state-funded services must connect by June 1, 2019.
For more information on the mandate, click here.
Q: What is the NC HealthConnex?
Created by the North Carolina General Assembly (NCGS 90-414.7), NC HealthConnex is the State-designated health information exchange. It is managed by the North Carolina Health Information Exchange Authority (NC HIEA), housed within the N.C. Department of Information Technology. For more information, click here.
Q: How do I request an extension?
A: The NC HIEA has a process for requesting extensions to qualifying practices. If your practice is subject to the June 1, 2018 mandate, you should request an extension with NC HIEA.
To request an extension, your practice must have a signed NC HIEA Participation Agreement. More information on the extension process can be found here.
Q: Does data transmission only apply to Medicaid patients?
A: No, the integration includes all patients in the practice.
For more information, see NC HIEA FAQ Page.