SOURCE: DirectTrust

December 07, 2016 09:23 ET

DirectTrust Directory Service Reaches Critical Mass as Directory Surpasses Half a Million Entries

Directory Service enables hassle-free interoperability for Direct exchange users

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - Dec 7, 2016) - DirectTrust today announced that its Directory Service has reached critical mass as the Directory now exceeds 500,000 entries for individual clinicians and healthcare organizations. These entries include Direct addresses, Provider physical addresses and other useful information such as specialty information and National Provider Identifiers (NPI). DirectTrust is a health care industry alliance created by and for participants in the Direct exchange network used for secure, interoperable exchange of personal health information (PHI) between provider organizations, and between provider and patients, for the purpose of improved coordination of care.

"This is a major milestone for DirectTrust and one that addresses the urgent needs of users of Direct exchange for shared information about their clinical trading partners," said David C. Kibbe, MD MBA, President and CEO of DirectTrust. "The Directory has grown steadily over the past two years and we expect the number of entries to nearly double by early 2017 as an increasing number of health information services providers (HISPs) participate and additional health care providers become more comfortable releasing clinician Direct addresses to other clinicians and their organizations through DirectTrust. The Directory is poised to be a foundational component of the National Health Information Network infrastructure."

The DirectTrust Directory Service provides several benefits to Direct exchange users:

Utility - More than 100 electronic health record (EHR) vendors, including those of recognized brands (e.g., Cerner, Athenahealth, Allscripts, EPIC) upload Directory information to enable easy search and location of Direct addresses of colleagues at other organizations including those using different EHR technologies.

Accurate, Current Information - More than 20 DirectTrust-accredited health information services providers (HISPs) regularly contribute their own and their EHR customers' information to the Directory, and routinely update these data.

Identity Validation - HISPs assign Direct addresses to individuals and organizations included in their data only after a rigorous identity-verification process has been performed and attested to. According to Dr. Kibbe, the DirectTrust Directory is the only Directory able to make this claim.

Quality Assurance - In an effort to improve and standardize its Directory, DirectTrust has undertaken a pilot project to test and compare the quality and accuracy of the data it contains against data contained in other national provider directories, e.g., the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES).

Continuous Improvement - DirectTrust is participating in a series of Directory issues-focused meetings sponsored by the ONC/National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

"A particular challenge is making Directory data more widely available for Direct users engaged in care coordination, while ensuring the privacy of those individuals and organizations. As they have voluntarily submitted their information to the DirectTrust Directory, it's critical that we protect and shield the data from inappropriate uses, such as commercial solicitation or spamming by marketing firms. We are actively seeking collaboration with both local and national trust communities to successfully overcome this challenge," concluded Dr. Kibbe.

About DirectTrust
DirectTrust is a four-year old, non-profit, competitively neutral, self-regulatory entity initially created by and for participants in the Direct exchange community, including Health Internet Service Providers (HISPs), Certificate Authorities (CAs), Registration Authorities (RAs), doctors, patients and vendors. DirectTrust supports both provider-to-provider and patient-to-provider Direct exchange. In the period 2013 to 2015, DirectTrust was the recipient of a Cooperative Agreement Award from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) as part of the Exemplar HIE Governance Program. DirectTrust serves as a forum and governance body for persons and entities engaged in the Direct exchange of electronic health information as part of the Nationwide Health Information Network (NwHIN). DirectTrust's Security and Trust Framework is the basis for the voluntary accreditation of service providers implementing Direct health information exchange. The goal of DirectTrust is to develop, promote, and, as necessary, help enforce the rules and best practices necessary to maintain security and trust within the Direct community, consistent with the HITECH Act and the governance rules for the NwHIN established by ONC. DirectTrust is committed to fostering widespread public confidence in the interoperable exchange of health information. To learn more, visit www.directtrust.org.

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