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Tennessee Reaches Milestone in Direct Project

November 4, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
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The Tennessee Office of eHealth Initiatives (OeHI)’s Health eShare project has reached a milestone, as 1,000 healthcare professionals across the state have adopted Direct secure email Technology, the government office announced.

Members of Health eShare’s Direct Project team, which included OeHI staffers and people from Qsource, which is a nonprofit quality improvement and information technology consultancy headquartered in Tennessee, were heavily involved in getting participants to join over the course of four months. They have gotten physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, social workers, medical assistants, administrators, and others to participate.

“Essentially, we focus on identifying healthcare provider ‘connectors’ within the community and then putting them in touch with their patient referral partners to create a more effective communication vehicle for sharing important clinical information regarding their patients,” aid Dawn FitzGerald, CEO of Qsource, said in a statement. “As a result, Tennessee healthcare professionals are recognizing Direct’s value in obtaining patient information more timely and efficiently, which helps them provide the best care possible.”

OeHI received grant funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act/Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (ARRA/HITECH) to support this Direct Project and other projects to implement secure health information exchange. Direct allows providers and their staffs to securely send and receive patient information while also helping healthcare providers meet federal standards, a requirement of Stage 2 of meaningful use under HITECH.

A similar milestone with Direct messaging was reached in Pennsylvania late last year.

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