Healthcare IT Interoperability, EHR interoperability, Hospital Interoperability

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DirectTrust’s Patient-Centered HIE to Boost Patient Engagement

Through the Partnership for Patients Program, DirectTrust hopes to expand patient engagement through health information exchange.

- DirectTrust has launched the Partnership for Patients Program (P4PP) to better support health information exchange (HIE) between patients and their providers, says a recent press release.

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The program will alleviate cost and technology barriers that keep patients from securely transmitting their health information between themselves and their providers by implementing a system that works similarly to email.

Through a secure, encrypted message that utilizes identity assurance, patients can send or receive their health data from their healthcare provider. This will help boost care quality and patient engagement by better informing patients of their own health.

Likewise, P4PP may help healthcare providers adhere to HIPAA protocol regarding how patients access their health data. HIPAA requires providers to allow their patients to access their health data in the format that they request. P4PP helps providers with electronic requests by letting them tap into their 1.2 million patient email repository through its 58,000 DirectTrust participants.

According to DirectTrusts’s CEO and president David C. Kibbe, MD, MBA, there is a great need for this kind of HIE. The healthcare industry is increasingly shifting to a patient-centered model, making it imperative for providers to manage patient data in an EHR.

"The need for patients and consumers to take charge of their health information, communicate with their providers about their health and be free to move their health information anywhere they choose has never been greater," Kibbe said in the press release. "This, of course, means individuals must have access to their personal health information stored in their providers' EHRs and other health IT systems, and have that access electronically and digitally.”

Further, Kibbe said patients need to be able to access this data and transmit it between themselves and their providers. This kind of patient-centered HIE makes it possible for patients to understand their health and become more engaged in it.

“It also means that individuals who desire it have the ability to download copies of their health information, or any parts of their medical record, and to collect, manage and transport the information to other providers,” Kibbe explained. “The Partnership for Patients Program gives patients and consumers all of these options."

DirectTrust has seen tremendous growth throughout this year. This past May, the organization released its metrics for the first quarter of this year, showing that DirectTrust saw a 46 percent increase in member health information service providers (HISPs) compared to Q1 2015.

It also saw an increase in the number of lines across which DirectTrust members can exchange health information. Those lines increased to 1.2 million trusted exchange addresses, or by 57 percent since Q1 2015.

The organization was also able to boast a high priority on health data security, with a total of 38 HISPs accredited under the Electronic Health Network Accreditation Commission.

According to Kibbe, this growth was a testament to DirectTrust’s commitment to improving HIE across the nation and ensuring health data interoperability.

“The DirectTrust network of secure and identity-assured email messaging continues to grow as a valuable national asset for providers of care who need to move their patients’ information across the boundaries of health care organization and different IT vendors, to and from anywhere in the country,” said DirectTrust’s president and CEO David C. Kibbe, MD, MBA.

This new launch of the P4PP will likely help DirectTrust to grow even larger by incorporating patients into HIE. As of right now, four DirectTrust members – IdenTrust, iShare Medical, MaxMD, and DataMotion – have fully onboarded onto P4PP. Going forward, the program should grow with more HISPs joining the HIE in the coming weeks and months.

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