DirectTrust Pilot Program to Connect Providers via Private, National Directory

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DirectTrust launches a pilot program to create a directory of Direct email addresses for providers.

DirectTrust, a non-profit trade alliance that advances secure standards-based health information exchange (HIE) via the Direct Protocol, has launched a pilot program to create a directory of Direct email addresses for providers in its trusted, national network. The network, which grew nearly 1,000% last year, would not only become more efficient, but participants will find it easier to meet 2015 Stage 2 Meaningful Use “transitions of care” requirements.

“We’re exploring ways to enhance our services in order to match our growth and ensure secure, interoperable health information exchange,” said DirectTrust President and CEO David C. Kibbe, MD, MBA. “Although we’re starting this as a pilot program, our vision is to scale our Provider Directory to enable our entire network of health professionals – about 660,000 accounts – to find their peers’ Direct addresses through their EHRs. The goal is to facilitate care coordination efforts with the utmost security, confidence and efficiency.”

Dr. Kibbe emphasized that the Directory would be available only to DirectTrust accredited members and their customers, is being built according to widely accepted directory standards, and the information therein will not be sold, rented or shared with third parties.

Currently, each health information service provider (HISP) is responsible for providing its own network with a directory of addresses. Different HISPs and electronic health records (EHRs) use different formats, gather different information, and follow different protocols. Consequently, if a provider wants to send a Direct message to another provider who uses a different HISP or EHR, they have to call the provider and request their address.

Last year, there were nearly 23 million Direct exchange transactions.

“There’s a great demand for streamlined communication, and we realize that given the size of our network, we need to crawl before we can walk, then walk before we run,” said Med Allies CEO and DirectTrust Board Chairman John Blair III, MD. “There are more than 35,000 healthcare organizations in our network, so we anticipate that spots in the pilot program will fill up quickly. If this pilot is successful it could eventually have a strong impact on interoperability”

DirectTrust-EHNAC accreditation means that strict privacy, security, and trust-in-identity controls are in place to ensure that messages and attachments sent over the Internet remain encrypted end-to-end, and that senders and receivers are identity-proofed. In addition to medical practices, clinics, hospitals, pharmacies and laboratories, DirectTrust technology is also being adopted by a growing number of federal agencies. HISPs from the Veterans Administration, United States Postal Services, and Indian Health Services have applied for DirectTrust-EHNAC accreditation.

For details on participating in the Directory pilot program or attaining accreditation, please visit http://www.DirectTrust.org.

About DirectTrust

DirectTrust is a nonprofit, competitively neutral, self-regulatory entity created by and for participants in the Direct community – including health information service providers (HISPs), certificate authorities, registration authorities, doctors, patients, and vendors. It supports both provider-to-provider, as well as patient-to-provider Direct exchange. The goal of DirectTrust is to develop, promote and, as necessary, help enforce the rules and best practices needed to maintain security and trust within the Direct network, consistent with the HITECH Act and the governance rules for the NwHIN established by the ONC. DirectTrust is committed to fostering widespread public confidence in the Direct exchange of health information. DirectTrust is the recipient of a two-year Cooperative Agreement with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, ONC, under the Exemplar HIE Governance Program, and has been supported in part by a grant associated with the Cooperative Agreement. To learn more, please visit http://www.DirectTrust.org.

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David C. Kibbe, MD
DirectTrust
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