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DirectTrust, ONC Relationship Continues

April 8, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
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DirectTrust, a non-profit trade alliance which aims to advance the exchange of health information via the Direct protocol, is continuing its cooperative agreement with the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health IT for a second full year.

The renewal comes because DirectTrust was able to meet and exceed the ONC’s Exemplar HIE Governance Program. This meant enrolling 49 organizations, such as various EHR companies, connectivity vendors, and state HIEs, in more than 80 accreditation and audit programs encompassing privacy, security, and trust-in-identity controls. For this, Direct partnered with the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) to accredit Health Information Services Providers (HISPs), which allows organization to more easily use Direct with each other.  

“This is a time when identity theft and privacy concerns are prevalent, so securing patients’ personal health information in Direct messages – and trusting the identity between senders – is a must,” DirectTrust President and CEO David C. Kibbe, MD, said in a statement. “In a remarkably short period of time, our members have created a national network for secure and trusted health data exchange over the Internet. EHR users in hospitals, medical practices, and other health care facilities, as well as their patients, will all benefit from the ability to move data securely across organizational and IT boundaries via Direct. The work has been done on time, and on target.”

The relationship between ONC and DirectTrust began last April, when ONC awarded $285,000 to the nonprofit and $200,000 to the EHR/HIE Interoperability Workgroup to support their work advancing the governance of health information exchange.

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