Yesterday, Doug Fridsma, M.D., the director of Standards and Interoperability for ONC, announced The Direct Project has linked more than 60 healthcare and health IT organizations (with 65 organizations making a commitment to deploy Direct, see slide below). He also noted that more than 20 states have participated in the project, as well as 90 percent of the health IT vendor market share.
A big piece of news was that the Direct Project’s specifications for coordination of care messages have been finalized, as well as two specifications that will help organizations create and deploy software that can speak with other Direct-enabled products.
At HIMSS11 Fridsma spoke to me about a couple of initiatives that the Direct Project is working on and they were further expanded on some NHIN University (a webinar series from the eNational eHealth Collaborative) presentation slides:
Current Direct Project initiatives:
• Create custom “cables” to connect lab interfaces with EHRs and create a single common implementation guide for ambulatory lab results to drive cost down on those interfaces and reduce new lab interfaces by 75 percent (Take a look at what the CDC is doing to standardize lab reporting)
• Standardize transitions of care by refining the vocabulary used and clinical information for physicians that can be used both in a document context and to inform downstream clinical decisions (medication reconciliation, updating problems, allergy lists, decision support, etc.)
Eventually ONC foresees wide-scale adoption of Direct standards by late 2012, which will give states and HIEs opportunity to drive adoption. This is encouraging news. Please let me know if your organization is participating in the Direct Project, and what your unique story is. Leave it as a comment below.