Direct Project gets widespread industry support

More than 60 healthcare and health IT organizations--ranging from electronic health record (EHR) vendors to integrated delivery systems to state-based and private-sector health information exchanges (HIE)--are showing their support for the Direct Project's more simple and secure messaging protocols.

The Direct Project is an initiative by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health IT to extend health information exchange to physicians and small practices with limited resources and technology assets to meet meaningful use of EHRs. Direct Project officials spoke about the program this week in a webinar.

Support for the Direct Project represents nearly 90 percent of market share covered by the participating IT vendors, reports Government Health IT . In addition, more than 20 states have said they will be participating in ONC-approved HIE plans that incorporate the Direct Project as part of their health IT strategies.

The Direct Project team recently announced the release of two finalized specifications and a draft compatibility statement to help define and shape the wider adoption of Direct Project technology by healthcare stakeholders. They also will be used to assist stakeholders in producing software that can speak with each other, notes Healthcare IT News.

Building on the Direct Project is the ONC's Standards & Interoperability Framework, which intends to focus on major interoperability challenges in support of quality outcomes, reports CMIO. S&I initiatives now under way address two key needs: incorporation of lab results in EHRs at reduced cost and within less time, and support for clinically integrated transitions of care.

For more details:
- see the Government Health IT article
- read the CMIO article
- see the Healthcare IT article

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