The North Carolina Healthcare Exchange (NCHEX) is a voluntary health information exchange (HIE) of hospitals and physician practices sponsored by the North Carolina Hospital Association (NCHA) to enable healthcare providers across North Carolina to share clinical data with each other to meet Meaningful Use exchange requirements, improve quality and reduce costs. NCHEX builds on the experience and technology of the North Carolina Hospital Surveillance System (NCHESS), created in 2004 as a public-private partnership between NCHA and the North Carolina Division of Public Health (NCDPH) to provide critical data from 114 emergency departments to enable the state to recognize and respond to acts of bioterrorism, disease outbreaks, emerging infections, and other public health emergencies. To date, North Carolina hospitals have exchanged over 115 million records regarding 19 million ED visits using the NCHESS system. NCHEX also uses the proven technology from CareEvolution, who provides HIE services in Indiana and for the South Carolina Health Information Exchange (SCHIEx) to link episodes of care across providers using an easy-to-use interface for caregivers.
What is NCHEX?
- NCHEX is a voluntary health information exchange (HIE) from the North Carolina Hospital Association (NCHA). The exchange will be open to all North Carolina medical providers to join and will actively seek to connect with existing RHIOs / HIEs / HIT systems in North Carolina by leveraging the NHIN Connect and other HIE standards.
- The exchange will support a secure patient-centric “Community of Care” view for providers.
- NCHEX will be developed by building on the existing NCHESS infrastructure to reduce HIE costs and implementation times.
- The exchange is planned to support multiple Meaningful Use requirements around interoperability for hospitals and eligible professionals.We are actively working with the state and other key stakeholders to make our exchange part of North Carolina’s statewide HIE infrastructure.
- Leverages existing statewide NCHESS investments to rapidly and inexpensively launch a statewide HIE.
- Unlocks existing data assets to pre-populate the HIE and thereby improve patient care statewide.
- Supports hospitals and eligible professionals to achieve Meaningful Use in a cost efficient manner.
- Supports sharing of information between hospitals, physicians, and other care providers.
- Connects with and leverages existing community HIEs / RHIOs to rapidly expand HIE reach and coverage.
We envision NCHEX connectivity that includes the following capabilities:
- The ability to assemble a patient-centric continuity-of-care record composed of information from all NCHEX participants, which can be displayed at the point of care via secure web access and EHR system linkages.
- HIE exchange functionality between providers to support care coordination (referrals/ messaging).
- Connectivity to the official state HIE when it becomes available.
- Connectivity to the state’s immunization registry when it is capable of receiving data.
- NHIN connectivity in the future when available.
- Access to hospital inpatient and outpatient claims history including all episodes in North Carolina for the last 5 years.
NCHEX is currently in pilot phase with seven hospitals, three free-standing emergency departments and 57 hospital-owned physician practices or specialty clinics; we are adding several independent physician practices at this time.