NC Health Information Exchange


+ What is the NC HIEA?

The Health Information Exchange Authority (NC HIEA) was created to oversee and administer the North Carolina state-designated HIE Network, NC HealthConnex. (NCGA § 90-414.7).

+ What is an HIE?

A Health Information Exchange (HIE) is a secure, electronic network that gives authorized health care providers the ability to access and share health-related information across a statewide information highway. It exists to improve health care quality, enhance patient safety, improve health outcomes, and reduce overall health care costs by enabling health information to be available securely whenever health care providers need it. The state-designated HIE is called NC HealthConnex.

+ Can non-Medicaid providers connect to NC HealthConnex?

Providers who do not receive state funding for the provision of health care services may also connect to the NC HealthConnex on a voluntary basis.

+ What information is used to identify patients in the system?

Information used to identify patients in the system is: name, date of birth, sex, address and telephone number. The HIE uses this information to make an accurate patient match and reduce errors.

+ Is it against the HIPAA Privacy Rule for you to share my information?

No. The HIPAA Privacy Rule does not require patient consent when information is used to support treatment, payment, or health care operations as is the case with NC HealthConnex. It acts as a “virtual medical record department” to collect and store medical records on behalf of participating organizations. Having a third-party entity such as NC HealthConnex to provide electronic health information management services for busy practices and hospitals is a common practice that allows your providers to have timely access to the right information at the right time.

+ What if I receive care at a health care organization that is not participating in NC HealthConnex, what happens to my records?

Only providers who are participating in NC HealthConnex can access and include information in the system. If your provider does not participate, they will continue to update your medical record in their own system, and they will share your medical records as they always have, by mail, email or fax.

+ What about mental health provider records? Are those part of my record?

Information collected by a licensed mental health provider or facility will be included in NC HealthConnex. However, information that comes from a substance abuse treatment facility or psychotherapy notes will not be included.

+ Is there a record of who has viewed my health information and why?

NC HealthConnex tracks who views patient records and performs regularly-scheduled audits of the HIE system. The system has strict user access policies in place so that only a clinician can see your complete record. Please let us know if you have questions and concerns about access to your records.

+ Do I have rights to access the portal to view my medical history?

At this time, patient access to the NC HealthConnex is not functional. As North Carolina continues its focus on patient-centered population health to improve health care outcomes, it is possible that the NC HIEA would look to expand this functionality.

+ Will my medical information be posted on the Internet or sold for a mailing list?

No. All data is protected, stored and accessed only for purposes permissible under state and federal law. The NC HIEA takes patient health data privacy and security very seriously. In accordance with HIPAA regulations and state law, the NC HIEA has entered into and will enter into Business Associate Agreements with all organizations that will receive protected health information (PHI) from the NC HealthConnex. Information that identifies you will never be sold, and you will not be added to any mailing list.

+ How often is the system checked for security failures/hackers?

Security tests are performed on an ongoing basis, to make sure that the records remain secure. For more information about security, please contact the NC HIEA business office directly.