Health information exchange organizations in nearly 30 states are using the Direct Project's clinical messaging protocol, and about a dozen more health data exchanges are expected to start using the standards this summer, according to a recent post on the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's "Health IT Buzz" blog, FierceHealthIT reports (Terry, FierceHealthIT, 6/19).
Background on Direct Project
The Direct Project is a streamlined version of the Nationwide Health Information Network. NwHIN is a set of standards, specifications and services that offers a common platform for data exchange between disparate entities.
The Direct Project aims to facilitate online, standards-based exchange of medical data between health care providers (iHealthBeat, 4/7/11).
Direct Project Adoption
According to the blog post, thousands of health care providers from a range of clinical specialties have signed up to use Direct Project services.
The post also provides examples of how the Direct Project is being used in various states. It notes that:
- Florida hospitals are using the Direct Project to coordinate with state agencies to ensure the accuracy of infant hearing screening tests;
- California's Redwood MedNet health data exchange and St. Joseph Health System are using the Direct Project to improve care coordination for infants; and
- The Guam Health Information Exchange and the Department of Veterans Affairs are using the Direct Project to streamline patient referrals (FierceHealthIT, 6/19).