HIT Moving Forward in NC

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is making progress on developing health IT in the state. More than a year ago, Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC) and the North Carolina Health Information Exchange (NC HIE) agreed to work together to help physicians have access to healthcare data and EMRs. On February 1, 2013, NC HIE merged with CCNC and became a subsidiary of CCNC. Under new CCNC governance, NC HIE operations will focus on supporting the state’s Medicaid and safety net providers to improve the health of the state’s most vulnerable populations. NC HIE will continue to operate as the State Designated Entity for HIE as appointed by ONC.

NC HIE is working with the North Carolina Community Care Network (NCCCN) to develop and deploy medication management services funded through ONC. Currently there are 717 users on the Medication Management System and 8,643 patients have been affected.

 In another move, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) in collaboration with the NC HIE and Allscripts have launched the North Carolina Program to Advance Technology for Health (NC PATH). The program was created to equip 600 rural independent physicians with Allscripts EHR software and support and connects healthcare providers across the state through NC HIE.In January 2013, the NC PATH executive steering committee approved the expansion of the program to include endocrinologists, cardiologists, pulmonologists, podiatrists, vascular surgeons, nephrologists, ENTs, and other specialists that are able to demonstrate required quality improvements.

The North Carolina Telehealth Network (NCTN) provides broadband services to health programs and sites across the state including free clinics, community health centers, and public health agencies. To date, 61 NCTN Public Health sites and 24 NCTN Hospitals are fully operational. Another round of NCTN subscribers are going to be added in 2013 with provisioning underway.

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