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DirectTrust Experiences Continued Growth in Health Data Exchange

DirectTrust has continued growing its health data exchange steadily, gaining five new members during the second quarter of 2017.

Health Data Exchange

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- DirectTrust recently announced it has experienced a period of continued growth at the close of its second quarter with five new members joining the alliance since April 1.  

The nonprofit alliance has continued its upward trajectory on all fronts, growing in number of Direct exchange users, addresses, and transactions.

The number of organizations involved with health information service providers (HISPs) part of the DirectTrust alliance increased by 68 percent over this time last year, pushing the number to almost 100,000.

The five year old alliance was developed by and for participants in the Direct exchange network to enable the secure, interoperable exchange of protected health information (PHI) between provider organizations and patients in the interest of improving care coordination.

DirectTrust’s second quarter metrics revealed the number of trusted Direct addresses capable of sharing PHI jumped 15 percent and cusped 1.5 million addresses.

Additionally, there were 40.1 million Direct exchange transactions during the second quarter of 2017, marking an increase of 74 percent over this time last year.

The total number of Direct exchange transactions for the second quarter broke 241 million. Presently, the DirectTrust nationwide network includes 42 EHNAC-DirectTrust accredited HISPs, 38 Accredited Trust Anchor Bundle HISPs, and four Governmental Trust Anchor Bundle HISPs.

DirectTrust consists of HISPs, Certificate Authorities (CAs), Registration Authorities (RAs), doctors, patients, and vendors.

"It is very satisfying to see the demand for Direct grow and to witness the physician and provider community further embracing the use of Direct exchange for secure messaging throughout hospitals and medical practices," said DirectTrust President and CEO David. C. Kibbe, MD. "Additionally, vendors across the health IT industry are increasingly enhancing their usability for Direct, while health care providers are broadening their use of Direct beyond clinical messaging to include administrative and research communications."

The alliance also announced that five healthcare organizations have joined the ranks of DirectTrust users, including Mirah, Inc., vitaTrackr, Inc., TechSoft, Inc., PatientMD, and Care3 Inc.

These organizations range from software companies geared toward behavioral health practices to digital health technology developers.

By joining DirectTrust, these organizations will assist in developing, promoting, and helping to enforce standards and best practices needed to uphold and improve health data exchange security and interoperability.

With the addition of these organizations, DirectTrusts total memebership has been bumped to 129 healthcare organizations.

"DirectTrust continues to attract organizations that bring innovative technology and deep knowledge in health care information exchange and interoperability,” said Dr. Kibbe. We welcome these new members to our network and I am confident that all of our current members will benefit greatly from their experience and expertise in their mission for effective interoperable exchange.”

The alliance’s growth will assist in advancing the healthcare industry’s efforts toward improved interoperability across the country.

Recently, DirectTrust CEO David Kibbe, MD released a statement commending plans outlined during the ONC press conference held earlier this month.

ONC voiced its commitment to improving EHR usability and interoperability in health IT to optimize patient care delivery.

“I find the attitude and direction ONC is taking under Don Rucker’s leadership to be as refreshing as it is practical,” said Kibbe. “Everyone in the health care IT space, particularly EHR users in clinical practice, needs a breather from the rushed pace of regulations and the breathless hype around new standards and innovations of the last administration. We need time to let the five year push to get health care practices computerized settle in, normalize, and stabilize.”

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