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Direct Exchange Transactions Increased 26 Percent in Q2 2018

August 1, 2018
by Heather Landi
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Use of Direct messages to transmit health information continues to grow steadily, according to DirectTrust, as there were 50.5 million Direct exchange transactions in the second quarter of 2018, an increase of 26 percent over the same period last year.

The cumulative total of Direct exchange transactions climbed to nearly 432 million at the end of the second quarter.

The number of health care organizations served by DirectTrust health information service providers (HISPs) and engaged in Direct exchange increased nearly 23 percent to more than 121,000 in the second quarter of this year, compared with the same time last year, according to the organization.

DirectTrust continues to see steady growth in the number of Direct exchange users, addresses, and transactions, as the number of trusted Direct addresses able to share protected health information (PHI) grew nearly 19 percent to more than 1.7 million. The number of patients/consumers involved using Direct increased 52 percent to more than 242,000.

DirectTrust is a non-profit health care industry alliance created to support secure, identity-verified electronic exchanges of PHI between provider organizations, and between provider and patients, for the purpose of improved coordination of care.

DirectTrust’s nationwide network now includes 35 HISPs in the Accredited Trust Anchor Bundle, 5 HISPs in the Governmental Trust Anchor Bundle, and 43 Accredited Organizations (HISPs/CAs/RAs).

“The adoption of Direct interoperability continues to grow as an alternative to fax and single-channel electronic transport of health information because of Direct's comparative cost savings, its integration with certified EHR technology used by providers, and its high level of security and identity controls,” David C. Kibbe, M.D., president and CEO of DirectTrust, said in a statement. “Providers still face challenges, primarily those of implementation and workflow, and of standardizing features and functions to make EHRs easier to use and more interoperable.  Patients face a different challenge:  the need for providers to be more open to patients accessing and moving their health data via Direct messaging.  We are, however, seeing progress.”

The organization also announced that two healthcare organizations joined DirectTrust during the second quarter—FIGmd Inc., which provides clinical data registry, analytics and data reporting solutions to medical practices, specialty societies, medical professional associations, hospitals, health systems, and others, and Haven Health Solutions, a blockchain services provider that enables organizations to build and deploy new and innovative applications engrained with security and set standards offering speed and data integrity.

These additions bring DirectTrust’s total membership to 117 organizations.

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