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DirectTrust HIE Growth Shows Priority of Interoperability

“What these numbers indicate is the reliance that hospitals, medical practices, ACOs, long term care facilities and HIEs are now putting on secure electronic exchange via Direct."

By Sara Heath

The end of DirectTrust’s third quarter metrics shows a major surge in its users, showing an increase in health information exchange (HIE) and a need for interoperability in the health IT industry.

health IT interoperability HIE

According to a public statement released by DirectTrust, the number of its users and those who exchange in HIE increased by nearly 66 percent. That means the HIE alliance expanded to over 46,000 users by the end of the third quarter of this year.

Additionally, the number of DirectTrust PHI sharers increased by approximately 133 percent, and the number of HIE transactions reached nearly 58 million.

These results are indicative of a growing need for HIE and interoperability in the health IT space. DirectTrust executives mirror this point of view.

“What these numbers indicate is the reliance that hospitals, medical practices, ACOs, long term care facilities and HIEs are now putting on secure electronic exchange via Direct, as they replace fax and mail communications with Direct messages to effect [sic] care coordination across organizational and health IT system boundaries,” said DirectTrust President and CEO David C. Kibbe, MD MBA.

Furthermore, this increase in DirectTrust usage shows an industry transition toward care coordination. By enabling providers to securely exchange information about patients and allowing them to track patient transitions, DirectTrust facilitates the integrated care for a patient between two different providers.

“We are also seeing new use cases emerge that extend the usefulness of Direct beyond Meaningful Use attestation. For example, HIEs sending providers alerts and reminders when patient transitions occur, device to device data transport, sending and receiving of claims attachments, and exchanges of documents between state and federal agencies and the private sector for referrals,” Kibbe added.

Kibbe explained that although the increase in DirectTrust users is a result of a healthcare trend, he is confident that the HIE alliance will continue to provide the services that physicians and healthcare professionals desire and will be the best option for those services.

“Wherever a community has to deal with a multi-vendor ecosystem in which securely moving data from point A to point B is necessary, we’re seeing Direct exchange is the easy, low-cost solution being considered and, more and more often, being implemented.  And we’re just scratching the surface of the potential for patient/consumer uses of Direct for secure communication with their doctors and other clinicians,” Kibbe concluded.

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