On Tuesday, health information exchanges in Illinois, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska announced a new partnership that will allow the networks to send secure clinical messages to each other, Modern Healthcare reports (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 1/22).
The states connected their health information exchanges through HHS' Direct Project (Roney, Becker's Hospital Review, 1/22).
Direct Project Background
The Direct Project aims to facilitate online, standards-based exchange of medical data between health care providers (iHealthBeat, 9/5/12). It allows health care providers to send and receive clinical messages, such as:
- Referral letters;
- Laboratory results; and
- Patient-care summaries (Modern Healthcare, 1/22).
Details of New Partnership
Laura McCrary, executive director of the Kansas Health Information Network, said that the new partnership will allow health care providers to "securely communicate across state lines and send information for patients that pass back and forth to receive care."
McCrary added that her organization also is working to connect with health information exchanges in Colorado and Oklahoma (Ryan, Wichita Eagle, 1/22).
Mary Kasal, president and CEO of the Missouri Health Connection, said, "We're excited to now be connected to Kansas, Nebraska and Illinois and look forward to connecting with all our border states" (MHC release, 1/22).