WNC Health Network | 1200 Ridgefield Blvd, Suite 200 | Asheville, NC 28806 | 877.667.8220
Providers Working Together
Who We Are
WNC Data Link is a regional health information exchange (HIE) that allows authorized physicians and clinicians to securely access patients’ electronic inpatient records across all 17 WNC hospitals and the Veterans Affairs (VA). It links providers that use a variety of information system products. WNC Data Link, established in 2006, was the first HIE in North Carolina and is a federated model.
What We Do
WNC Data Link allows authorized health care providers to access patients’ records across all WNC hospitals, regardless of where the records originated. This is a real time view in a standard format. Available medical information from WNC Data Link includes patient demographics, admission/discharge information, lab results, microbiology reports, radiology reports, medications, allergies, discharge summaries, history & physicals, Emergency Department notes, progress notes, and other transcribed reports. WNC Data Link connects the 17 WNC hospitals with the VA, including Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville, using the CONNECT Gateway of the NC Health Information and Communication Alliance. This is the sixth project implemented by the VA in the country.
HIPAA privacy and security are assured using comprehensive electronic security features that make it even more secure than paper medical records. Users must have user credentials and passwords, and there is active monitoring of users and restrictions on access to patient records.
How We Add Value
WNC Data Link enhances patient safety, quality of care, prevents duplicate tests and procedures and reduces cost. Some examples:
- A patient’s medical condition at Murphy Medical Center worsened and she was transported by helicopter to Mission Hospital. Before she arrived, all of her records were available electronically. She received the appropriate care immediately, saving her life.
- A drug dependent patient visited three emergency departments in one day attempting to get narcotics already received. Because WNC Data Link provided immediate access to patient records, the physician referred the patient for more appropriate care.
- When a patient was transferred from one hospital to another for continuing care, the physician retrieved laboratory test results and avoided repeat laboratory procedures.
Further development of WNC Data Link includes connecting patient data from physician offices and other healthcare facilities to the network. Implementing is underway to add outpatient medication history of patients by linking to a retail pharmacy database. The long-term goal is to offer a patient portal allowing all WNC residents to access their own electronic health record.