Optimize Workflows Easily with Secure, Integrated Direct Messaging

Whether you’re in a hospital, ambulatory care, or home health setting, you need to share data (such as referrals, clinical messages, and test results) easily and securely. In addition, you need to communicate in a HIPAA-compliant fashion. For these reasons, the government launched the Direct Project in March 2010. For you to succeed in our evolving healthcare landscape, it’s important to see how Direct messaging enables easy, secure, anytime data sharing for your organization and community – and to take full advantage of its capabilities.

To learn how the Direct Project affects you, and how you can leverage it to improve your workflows and efficiencies, you need to understand:

  1. How you can (and why you should) participate in Direct messaging
  2. Why a HISP is important (and what it is)
  3. Why DirectTrust matters (and what it does)
  4. How you can get up and running with Direct – and how Mirth Mail can help

In this post, we’ll dive into each topic a little further – and I’ll tell you how you can find out even more, if you’re interested.

How you can participate in Direct messaging?

Healthcare providers need a Direct mailbox to participate in notification workflows using Direct as the technical transport (moving messages from point A to B). Your HIE may offer providers a Direct address.

For example, if your HIE is sending out encounter notifications when one of your patients is discharged or admitted to the hospital, you can then quickly contact patients to schedule follow-up care using Direct messaging (that’s a revenue generator!)

If your HIE doesn’t offer Direct messaging, and you want to offer this to caregivers in your community, you’ll need to set up a Health Information Service Provider (HISP) mail server to offer Direct mailboxes to your users.

You can learn more about this right now in our “Optimize Workflows with Secure, Easy, Integrated Direct Messaging” eBook.

A Health Information Service Provider (HISP) is defined as an entity that is responsible for delivering health information as messages between senders and receivers over the Internet. HISPs also manage provider directories, establish secure endpoints, assign Direct addresses, and translate between message formats to ensure successful delivery of content.

The HISP provides security for your message and routes it to the appropriate recipient. In some cases, HISP functionality may be embedded within an electronic health record (EHR) system. Both the sender and receiver must be connected to a HISP/HISP services, although they may each choose a different HISP. Also, HISPs must be compliant with Direct standards in order to be interoperable with other HISPs across the nation.

Why DirectTrust matters (and what it does)

DirectTrust is a non-profit healthcare industry alliance, which helps ensure that all HISPs follow similar operational procedures for security and authentication. Accredited HISPs partnering with DirectTrust are included in a large trust network of HISPs spread out across the nation, establishing trust relationships on a mass scale. Alternatively, two HISPs can simply agree that they’ll trust each other, and not require DirectTrust accreditation.

The world of credit card transactions provides a good metaphor for how Direct messaging and DirectTrust work together. When you see the Visa® or MasterCard® logo on a bank card, you know it’s legitimate – you expect those companies to maintain a certain level of security. When you use Direct to transport information to a DirectTrust accredited HISP, you can be sure you’re sending data to an authorized, accredited recipient who is part of the DirectTrust network (and has had their identity verified) – and you can streamline connections in a safer, more secure, and highly effective manner.

How you can get up and running with Direct – and how Mirth Mail can help

If you want to move forward with Direct messaging, you need to start by asking yourself a few questions, including:

  • With whom do you want to connect?
  • What do you want to achieve?
  • What workflow do you need to support?
  • What are your system prerequisites and external endpoints?

The best way to answer these questions is with the help of an expert. Find a partner with a well-trained team to walk you through the process of setting up a HISP. Another, much easier option comes with the purchase of a product that has passed a lengthy audit and accreditation process, such as Mirth Mail. Using it, you can set up your own branded, accredited HISP in your community and marketplace. You’ll be able to offer Direct mailboxes to your users right away. This will save you about a year’s worth of effort – and you’ll become part of the DirectTrust network immediately.

To learn more, download the “Optimize Workflows with Secure, Easy, Integrated Direct Messaging” eBook.