Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Oregon Launches Direct Project Pilot

We are launching a Direct Project pilot in Oregon. Working with Medicity, who are providing HISP services for the pilot as they continue to widely support Direct Project protocols; Krysora LLC, who are providing project management and using their deep experience and expertise in health information exchange to drive this pilot forward; Gorge Health Connect, Inc. (GHC) a health information exchange service provider in the Columbia River Gorge area of Oregon will work through the summer with the goal of going live before the end of August.

Two years ago a group of stakeholders in the Columbia River Gorge gathered together to find ways to provide health information exchange services in our area. Starting with a Network Planning Grant from HRSA, we formed a 501c3 corporation and I am serving as President. We have also been working on health IT workforce development. Members of GHC include Columbia Gorge Community College, Mid-Columbia Medical Center, Providence Hood River Hospital, Columbia River Women's Clinic, La Clinica Del Carino, Mid-Columbia Surgical Specialists, North Central Public Health District (Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam Counties), and Hood River County Public Health Department, altogether covering most of the healthcare services in a four-county area. The Oregon Direct Project Pilot is focused on providing secure transport of health information to members and non-members based on existing referral patterns. This pilot is focused on supporting the following Direct Project User Stories:
  • Primary care provider refers patient to specialist including summary care record
  • Primary care provider refers patient to hospital including summary care record
  • Specialist sends summary care information back to referring provider
  • Hospital sends discharge information to primary care provider

I have worked hard over the last couple years with Oregon's Health Information Technology Oversight Council to help develop our strategic and operational plans for health information exchange. After helping to write the strategic and operational plans, I have served on the HIO Executive Panel, chaired the Technology Workgroup, and served on the eRx ad hoc Group and Labs ad hoc Group. During this time I also have been working on the Direct Project, right from the beginning of this incredible community, and I have been looking forward to when we can announce our own pilot in Oregon.

In November of last year NHIN Direct was rebranded to become the Direct Project. In February the ONC announced the launch of real world implementations of the Direct Project. I recently worked with the ONC to bring states up to speed on the Direct Project. Today I am happy to announce that we are launching our pilot project in Oregon with plans to go live in our pilot in August :-)

1 comment:

  1. I have seen minimal details regarding technical compliance with HIPAA/HITECH. Also, I have seen no information regarding Gorge Health Connect's broader compliance with the HIPAA security rule and HITECH. This is especially critical given Gorge Health Connect is a business associate of all participating entities if Gorge Health Connect has access to ePHI.

    Even if not a business associate, Gorge Health Connect needs to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of the security rule and the use and disclosure provisions of the privacy rule by contract. I have found it very difficult to contact anyone at Gorge Health Connect. There is no contact number or way to email Gorge Health Connect posted on its web site.

    Chris Apgar, CISSP
    Apgar & Associates, LLC