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Office 365 and the Direct Project

It was interesting to read Healthcare IT News‘ post today on the CDC looking to use Direct Project for a health safety network. According to the post

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) needs a health information service provider to deploy the Direct secure messaging protocol to make it easier and more automated for providers to send data to the National Healthcare Safety Network.
The secure transport standard will assist providers in transmitting data from electronic health records (EHRs) and other healthcare information systems using the Health Level 7 Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) standard for automated entry into the agency’s safety surveillance system, according to an Aug. 28 announcement in Federal Business Opportunities.
The health information services provider (HISP) will offer Direct services to smooth the transport of CDA documents from healthcare providers to the National Healthcare Safety Network.

This caught my attention as I’d just been discussing the merits of using Microsoft‘s Office 365 with Direct Project for secure email. Why Office 365? Microsoft’s Office 365 offers a secure cloud based email and collaboration suite.  Microsoft has invested in addressing HIPAA compliance concerns and BAA requirements with Office 365. In addition Office 365 is easily accessible to physician practices across the US, there’s a relatively low cost of entry, and even while EHR solutions are being implemented, leveraging Office 365 provides a quick and easy, secure method of sharing information that can continue to be used even when an EHR is in place.
Using Office 365 alongside the Direct Project can eliminate the risks associated with faxing documents from facility to facility and courier woes, such as patient information becoming privy to third party eyes when sitting on unmanned counters.
The Healthcare IT News article continues

The CDC’s safety network collects and tracks information about infection control, healthcare worker safety, blood safety, measurements of care processes and improvement, public health reporting and prevention research. More than 9,000 healthcare facilities currently participate.
As of mid-year, 400 healthcare facilities have the capability of creating CDA messages to the safety network specifications and another 300 are preparing to do so, according to the agency. Also, any facility enrolled in the safety network can upload their CDA messages manually.
CDC said it anticipates that “100 facilities will begin to use Direct in the first year and that this number will increase significantly in coming years.”

What do you think? Do you think that using Office 365 along with the Direct Project can increase accessibility quickly and easily driving further Direct Project adoption?


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Liza Sisler

I am passionate about connecting people and information and fascinated by the evolution of social business solutions and cloud adoption. I currently lead Perficient's Partner & Industry Marketing team and am fortunate to work with incredibly talented people sharing the stories, accomplishments and insights of the Perficient team.

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