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Impact of Statewide Health Information Exchange

Mary Schilder is director of internal consulting in WakeMed Information Services.

Last week, the North Carolina Hospital Association (NCHA) and The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) announced that WakeMed and Moses Cone are the initial beta sites to develop and launch the North Carolina Healthcare Information Exchange (NCHEX).  This is an exciting project for every health care provider and patient in North Carolina.

For years, hospitals have been submitting data to the North Carolina Hospital Emergency Surveillance System (NCHESS).  NCHESS is a system that tracks infectious diseases and works to catch potential outbreaks or pandemics in real-time so the spread of the disease can be controlled early on.  North Carolina is already a bit ahead of the national curve with state-wide data submission because 111 hospitals are already contributing data twice a day to NCHESS.

Using the already successful NCHESS platform, NCHEX is going to take it one step further and create a clinical database that will enable authorized users to access a patient’s record, enabling the provider to see lab results, medications, physician interactions, diagnoses and much more. This statewide electronic medical record is going to improve the health and safety of the medical care provided across the state as well as increase efficiency of our health care system.