NC Office of Health Information Technology

The North Carolina Office of Health Information Technology (OHIT) was established in 2010 in accordance with Session Law (SL) 2009-0451, which stipulates that NC Department of Health and Human Services shall direct a health information technology management structure that is efficient and transparent and that is compatible with the ONC governance mechanism. The goal of NC OHIT is to facilitate the development of statewide interoperable health information systems and initiatives that will ultimately improve health and healthcare in North Carolina.

NC OHIT believes that open and transparent communication is crucial in advancing its goals across the state. This website will serve as a central repository for health IT announcements, events, resources, and initiatives in North Carolina. 

NC OHIT welcomes the opportunity to connect and coordinate our efforts with other agencies and organizations who are working to advance health IT in North Carolina. Email NC OHIT to begin the discussion around health IT projects and initiatives.

Health IT News

Health IT News

National Rural Health Day

NCDHHS’ Office of Rural Health is proud to recognize the innovation, quality of care and dedication of health professionals and volunteers in communities during National Rural Health Day 2020. National Rural Health Day falls on the third Thursday in November each year and recognizes the efforts of those serving the health needs of an estimated 57 million people across the nation. 

Rural populations continue to lag behind their urban counterparts on many health measures. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found rural communities had a higher rate of unhealthy behaviors, less access to health care and less access to healthy foods compared with urban areas. In North Carolina, where 41 percent — or 4 million people — live in rural areas, the study has larger implications. 

"Health disparities have devastating consequences. People in rural communities are dying at a higher rate than some of our other communities," said Maggie Sauer, director of the state’s Office of Rural Health.

Lowering the rate of death in rural areas will take a variety of interventions, including reducing the number of uninsured people, increasing access to healthy food and affordable housing, and addressing economic factors that contribute to disease.  

"North Carolina’s rural communities are resilient and strong. They face adversity head on and show up for their neighbors. That is the power of rural we are celebrating," said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D.

You are invited to participate in the following planned National Rural Health Day activities to celebrate the “Power of Rural.”

The Power and Joy of Rural 
Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, 11 a.m.– noon

As part of National Rural Health Day, this virtual event will "Celebrate the Power and Joy of Rural" by honoring the selfless, community-minded, "can do" spirit that prevails in rural America. This event will spotlight the responsiveness and resiliency of rural communities and highlight the joy and benefits of choosing to live in a rural community. 

A special presentation of the National Rural Health Day Gubernatorial Proclamation will be made, and Matthew Hoagland, author of "Think Small: A Millennial’s Guide to Building a Meaningful Life in Rural America" will speak, among others. The event is sponsored by the NC Rural Health Leadership Alliance, NC Office of Rural Health, NC Rural Center and Hometown Strong.

To register for the event, click here.

Surviving and Thriving: The Power of Rural is 100% Community 
Thursday, Nov. 19, 2 – 3:15 p.m.

Katherine Ortega Courtney, Ph.D., and Dominic Cappello, authors of "100% Community: Ensuring 10 Vital Services for Surviving and Thriving," will discuss their groundbreaking research & roadmap they've created to help rural counties learn how to work together in new ways to create local systems of health, safety, education and economic stability. 

To register of the event, click here.

Rural health stakeholders can explore a partnership pledge, showcase individuals and organizations selected as 2020 Community Stars, and provide visitors with a variety of tools, including social media posts to help #PowerofRural trend in outlets such as Twitter and Facebook at www.PowerofRural.org. The website also shares how rural communities across the country will be celebrating National Rural Health Day.

For additional information about National Rural Health Day, visit www.PowerofRural.org. Stakeholders can contact Dorothea S. Brock for more information about Thursday’s events.

Health IT Initiatives Around North Carolina

Health IT Initiatives Around North Carolina

NC OHIT Health IT Projects

NC Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program
The NC Medicaid EHR Incentive Program was created by the federal government as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The program encourages eligible providers to adopt, implement, or upgrade (AIU) to a certified EHR technology, and then to demonstrate meaningful use (MU) of that technology with the goal of improving patient care while also reducing health care costs. The NC Medicaid EHR Incentive Program issued its first payment in 2011 and eligible providers may attest through October 2021.

emPOWER
Thousands of NC Medicaid beneficiaries living at home rely on electricity-dependent durable medical equipment such as ventilators, electric wheelchairs, and infusion pumps. Natural or man-made incidents resulting in power outages can thrust these at-risk individuals into life-threatening situations. NC emPOWER uses Medicaid claims data to identify these populations for the NC DHHS Public Health Preparedness and Response Branch and their partners to support targeted emergency preparedness, response, and recovery activities. NC emPOWER provides a de-identified monthly summary report by ZIP Code and county to aid in planning for hospital surge and sheltering and evacuation needs and in case of emergency can securely provide patient-level reports by impacted geography to assist in rapidly identifying, locating, and voluntarily evacuating at-risk individuals and reconnecting them with their health care providers.

North Carolina State Medicaid Health Information Technology Plan
The State Medicaid Health Information Technology Plan (SMHP) provides an overview of HIT initiatives in North Carolina and outlines NCDHHS’ strategy through 2021 for implementing the NC Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. The SMHP also details various HIT initiatives that are in progress across the state and addresses the state’s HIT Roadmap, including goals and benchmarking activities.

COVID-19 Hospital Medical Surge Daily Survey  
On April 4, 2020, NC OHIT became a key contributor on the NCDHHS team responsible for tracking and reporting COVID-19 data in North Carolina. The NC OHIT team analyzed survey responses to mitigate human error in reporting, tracked response rates, conducted targeted outreach, and managed the help desk for the COVID-19 Hospital Medical Surge Daily Survey. NC OHIT’s role in maximizing completeness and accuracy of hospital data was crucial as it aided leaders in data-based decision making in North Carolina’s battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. NC OHIT’s last day working on this project was September 1, 2020, when the state transitioned from manual submission of data to an automated process.

NC Behavioral Health EHR Program
NC DHHS, NC OHIT, NC Medicaid, the NC Office of Rural Health (ORH) and the NC Health Information Exchange Authority (NC HIEA) launched the NC Behavioral Health EHR Program to assist behavioral health, mental health, and intellectual development and disability practices with purchasing EHR technology and establishing connectivity to NC HealthConnex. There was $2.5 million dollars in available funds. Applications had to be submitted by May 31, 2018 and were accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The program ended in November 2019, after all reimbursements had been distributed.

 

State of North Carolina organizations with health IT projects/initiatives

Please note, this is not an exhaustive list.

Private/non-profit organizations in North Carolina with health IT services/initiatives

Please note, this is not an exhaustive list.

Health Information Exchanges in North Carolina

  • Atrium Health CareConnect – an HIE that provides a secure method to share patient information between providers at participating facilities. To date, the portal is used and accessed by over 240 non-Atrium organizations. Click here for the list of partner connections and users’ organizations.
  • Coastal Connect Health Information Exchange – was established in 2009 by provider stakeholders: Dosher Memorial, New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Pender Memorial, Southeastern Health, Wilmington Health and most recently Onslow Memorial. The HIE technology, with 265 data contributors, creates the secure data sharing network for unaffiliated providers in southeastern North Carolina. Connected providers include Bladen County, Brunswick County, Columbus County, Cumberland County, Duplin County, Hoke County, New Hanover County, Onslow County, Pender County, Robeson County and Sampson County. 
  • Mission Health Connect – serves as the Regional HIE for western North Carolina, serving the far western 18 counties of North Carolina. Mission Health Connect is integrated with external connections to other health systems/HIE connections and extends to 59 of the total 100 counties in NC.
  • NC HIEA – operates NC HealthConnex, which is North Carolina’s state-designated HIE providing a secure, standardized electronic system in which providers can share important patient health information.
Health IT Resources

Health IT Resources

Please note, NC OHIT is sharing these websites only as a resource. NC OHIT is not a sponsor of these sites and does not have any responsibility over the posted content.

North Carolina Organizations

National Organizations

  • The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Health IT initiative is part of the Nation's strategy to put information technology to work in health care. By developing secure and private electronic health records for most Americans and making health information available electronically when and where it is needed, health IT can improve the quality of care, even as it makes health care more cost-effective.
  • Healthcare Innovation is suitable for a broad audience and engages with thought leaders across the entire healthcare industry. The website features diverse topics including Population Health, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cybersecurity, Finance/Revenue, HIEs, Clinical IT, and imaging. Information is shared through different mediums such as articles, blogs, webinars, and interviews. Healthcare Innovation also provides news coverage and brings to its readers events from the industry, industry-related summits and more. An annual subscription is free to qualified healthcare professionals. 
  • HIMSS is a global advisor and thought leader supporting the transformation of health through the application of information and technology.
  • Healthcare IT Connect provides free access to virtual Health IT education, conferences, and more. Visit http://www.healthcareitconnect.com/ to join the conversation with federal and state leaders as they discuss trends and lessons learned during their HIT strategic planning and implementation.
     

Government Organizations

  • The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) is the administration’s leader in health IT efforts and is a resource to the entire health system to support the adoption of health information technology and the promotion of nationwide health information exchange to improve health care. 
  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is the primary federal agency for improving health care to people who are geographically isolated, economically or medically vulnerable.
     
Funding Opportunities

Funding Opportunities

Please click on the links below for federal funding opportunities in health IT.

Studying Health IT and Informatics in North Carolina

Studying Health IT and Informatics in North Carolina

North Carolina is home to some of the most prestigious schools and universities in the nation. Click on the hyperlinks below to learn more about some of the Health IT and Informatics programs being offered in our state.

Please note, this list is not exhaustive of the institutions in North Carolina that offer degrees and certificates in health informatics and health IT. NC OHIT does not endorse or sponsor any of these programs.  

Certification Programs

Duke University: Certificate in Health Informatics 
Durham, NC. Courses and practicum may be completed online. This program is designed for those with an undergraduate or graduate degree in a clinical area who seek knowledge of Health Informatics principles, methods, and applications. This short introductory level program provides an overview of the field of Health Informatics and foundational information about how data, information, and knowledge are represented and used in health applications.

East Carolina University: Health Informatics Certificate 
Greenville, NC. Courses are offered in person in Greenville, online or through a hybrid of in-person and online. The Health Informatics (HI) graduate certificate equips students with the knowledge and skills needed for employment and success in the emerging field of HI. The program is designed for health care workers who do not have informatics training and for information technology workers who do not have health care experience and may wish to seek employment in health care as health informaticians.  The objective is to expand upon the student's current knowledge skills to make them more capable and well trained in the field of HI.

East Carolina University: Health Information Management Certificate 
Greenville, NC. Courses are offered in person, online or through a hybrid of in-person and online. The Health Information Management (HIM) graduate certificate provides students who already have a bachelor's degree the knowledge and skills needed in order to serve as a critical link between health care providers, payers and patients. The curriculum is designed to help students develop characteristics associated with an effective leader in health information management: critical thinking skills, problem solving abilities, communication and interpersonal skills, and ethical values. Graduates of the HIM certificate program are eligible to apply to take the RHIA registration examination offered by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).

East Carolina University: MBA with Health Care Management Certificate 
Greenville, NC. Courses are offered in-person, online or through a hybrid of in-person and online. The HCM certificate program is an option for MBA students to further their knowledge and skills in managing health care organizations. Students are prepared for careers as managers in a variety of health care situations. The knowledge gained from this certificate can be applied to hospitals, ambulatory care centers, long term care facilities, health research and clinical trials firms, home health care agencies, and health insurance companies.

North Carolina Central University: Health Informatics Certificate 
Durham, NC. Courses are offered online. The Certificate in Health Informatics program at the NCCU School of Library and Information Science focuses on knowledge and skills used in health or biomedical informatics, including the use of digital or electronic health records and data.

University of North Carolina at Charlotte: Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics and Analytics
Charlotte, NC. Courses are offered in person. This program is a subset of UNCC’s MS curriculum and provides students with a foundation in health informatics that complements related professional degrees and allows students to seamlessly progress fully into the master’s program in health informatics and analytics if desired.
 

Associates Degree Programs

Brunswick Community College: Health Information Technology Program 
Bolivia, NC. Courses are offered in person. The Health Information Technology curriculum provides individuals with the knowledge and skills to process, analyze, abstract, compile, maintain, manage, and report health information. 

Forsyth Technical Community College: Health Information Technology Program 
Winston-Salem, NC. Courses are primarily offered online, except for general education courses and Professional Practice Experiences (PPE). The Health Information Technology program prepares students for a career working with health information in diverse roles in a variety of healthcare settings. 

Pitt Community College: Health Information Technology Program 
Winterville, NC. Courses are primarily offered online, but PPE courses are will occur near the student’s region. The HIT curriculum provides individuals with the knowledge and skills to process, analyze, abstract, compile, maintain, manage, and report health information. 
 

Undergraduate Degree Programs 

East Carolina University: Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management
Greenville, NC. Courses are offered in person and online. The BS in Health Information Management (HIM) emphasizes the development of skills for managing health information and the systems that collect, store, retrieve, disseminate, and communicate said information to support organizational operations and clinical and business decision making.

East Carolina University: Bachelor of Science in Health Services Management 
Greenville, NC. Course are offered through a combination of in-person and online. The BS in Health Services Management provides health care practitioners and others with the skills and competencies to function as supervisors and managers in health care settings. Graduates will be prepared for mid-level management positions or for entrance into master's programs in allied health.
 

Graduate Degree Programs

Duke University: Master of Science in Nursing, Health Informatics major 
Durham, NC. Courses are offered in person and online. The health informatics major in our MSN Program prepares you to develop knowledge and skills in clinical information systems, strategic planning, project management, and a variety of technologies. Knowledge builds on concepts of data-information-knowledge meta-structures and incorporates systems lifecycle planning and expert clinical domain modeling. 

Duke University: Master of Management in Clinical Informatics 
Durham, NC. Courses are offered in person and online. The MMCi program prepares graduates for managerial and executive positions in health care. They will learn to operationalize, manage, and evaluate health IT in a variety of settings, including academia, government, and industry. Students will acquire the knowledge and skills to merge technology with research and patient care and help improve human health.

Duke University: Master in Interdisciplinary Data Science (MIDS), concentration in Biomedical Informatics 
Durham, NC. Courses are offered in person. This is a full-time two-year education program for students who want to work in biomedical informatics where strong data science skills are needed to address future biomedical informatics challenges. Students will be exposed to the interdisciplinary application of data science while developing skills applied to real-world problems in healthcare.

East Carolina University: Master of Science in Health Informatics and Information Management 
Greenville, NC. Courses are offered in person or online. As the only CAHIIM accredited master’s program in the state, this is an intensive, fast-paced program for anyone interested in working in the exciting field of health care with an interest in technology. Our program offers a unique and comprehensive curriculum that prepares students to take on leadership and technology roles in the design, development and management of enterprise level health information systems.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Master of Professional Science in Biomedical and Health Informatics 
Chapel Hill, NC. Courses are offered in-person or online. Graduates of the program will gain knowledge and skills in:

  • Management of large-scale projects related to clinical and public health information systems,
  • Development and evaluation of health information systems that impact clinical decision making and health care quality, and
  • Analysis and management of health data for improvement in clinical practice, biomedical research and public health services.

University of North Carolina at Charlotte: Master of Science in Health Informatics and Analytics
Charlotte, NC. Courses are offered in person. This program is designed for working adults with a variety of professional backgrounds including health and computing, as well as those interested in transitioning into the field. The newly revised curriculum stresses hands-on, team-based learning. The professional internship and experiential capstone courses immerse students directly in the workplace and use real-world data sets to address current challenges.
 

Doctoral Degree Programs

Duke University: Doctor of Nursing Practice and Doctor of Philosophy with Specialty in Informatics  
Durham, NC. Courses are offered in person. Students seeking doctoral level training in Nursing may specialize in health informatics. While the foci of the DNP and PhD degrees differ, students pursuing either degree may elect health informatics as the topic of their doctoral research.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: PhD in Health Informatics 
Chapel Hill, NC. Courses are offered in person. The PhD in Health Informatics program at UNC Chapel Hill prepares graduate students to contribute to the field of biomedical and health informatics studies through research, teaching and exposure to practical biomedical and health informatics challenges. The program is structured to support interdisciplinary research training, gaining teaching experience, and administrative knowledge acquisition. It includes rigorous coursework prior to dissertation research and is designed to adapt to the diverse needs of program students.
 

Stay Connected

Stay Connected

Click on the links below to subscribe to free HIT-related e-newsletters and listservs offered through the State of North Carolina and associated organizations, federal government and national organizations.

NC OHIT is not a sponsor of these sites and does not have any responsibility over the posted content.

NCDHHS’ free COVID-19 e-newsletter keeps readers up to date with the latest COVID-19 news, information and updates. Click here to subscribe. 

NC Division of Public Health (DPH) works to promote and contribute to the highest possible level of health for the people of North Carolina. Follow them on Twitter for the latest news and updates via @NCPublicHealth.

NC Health Information Exchange Authority’s (NC HIEA) free e-newsletter provides the latest on NC HIEA trainings, events and up-to-date information on NC HealthConnex. Click here to subscribe.

NC Medicaid (Division of Health Benefits) provides access to physical and behavioral health care and services to improve the health and well-being of over 2.1 million North Carolinians. To receive email alerts regarding upcoming events and the latest information from NC Medicaid, click here and scroll to the email alerts portion of the page and enter a valid email address.

NC Office of Rural Health (ORH) assists underserved communities by improving access, quality and cost-effectiveness of health care. To sign up and become a recipient of the newsletters, please click here to visit ORH’s home page, scroll to the bottom of the page, and follow the instructions under the section entitled 'Office of Rural Health Constant Contact Subscription Form'.

NCTracks is the multi-payer Medicaid Management Information System for NCDHHS. For NCTracks newsletters, NCTracks Communications and updates, click here to join the NCTracks email distribution list.

NC Area Health Education Centers (NC AHEC) provides information on professional development, training opportunities and more through their free e-newsletter. Click here, scroll to the bottom of the page and enter a valid email address to subscribe.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) offers a free email subscription service, which allows users to receive notifications by e-mail when new information is available. Get updated information automatically without having to return to the website and check for changes, click here to subscribe. 

Healthcare Innovation provides free e-newsletters on industry news, trends, best practices and thought leadership. Click here to subscribe. 

Health IT Analytics offers free e-newsletters focusing on the following six key industry areas: Analytics, AIU and Blockchain; EHR and Interoperability, Revenue Cycle and Finance, Patient Engagement, mHealth & Telehealth and/or Health IT Security and HIPPA. Click here, select the newsletter(s) of interest and enter a valid email address to subscribe. 
 

Contact

Contact

Layne Roberts: NCHealthIT@dhhs.nc.gov