Monday, March 21, 2011

Direct Project ~ Specifications and Compliance

Doug Fridsma, M.D., Ph.D. is the Director of the Office of Standards and Interoperability in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). He is currently on leave from the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Arizona State University and from his clinical practice at Mayo Clinic Scottsdale. On Monday, March 21, 2011 he announced the Direct Project specifications are achieving widespread adoption and gave a glimpse into what's in store for the future of this project.

Important points in this announcement are:
  • There are significant commitments by key national players (states and health IT vendors) that bode well for universal adoption for the Direct Project.
  • The pilot projects and specifications related to IHE profiles and transitions of care demonstrate how the Direct Project is so much more than secure email.
  • The Direct Project specifications (final) and compliance (draft) documents are now available.
Two key events are also coming up:

The post also pointed out that over 60 healthcare and health IT organizations, including many state based and private sector health information exchanges, leading IT vendors, and several leading integrated delivery systems, have planned support for the Direct Project. The full current and growing list is available here. Dr. Fridsma said:
"This broad swath of support for the Direct Project represents approximately 90% of market share covered by the participating health IT vendors. With over 20 states participating in the project, including many of the largest states in the country, nearly half of the total U.S. population can now benefit from the Direct Project’s growing integration into the national health IT ecosystem. Growing participation with the Direct Project will alleviate a healthcare system awash in a sea of paper and faxes."