Direct secure messaging (DSM) is a transmission standard promoted by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology that meets the Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements of electronic health records (EHRs). It works much the same way as regular email, but the message is encrypted, which prevents unintended use of the protected health information that is included within. DSM can be used to send patient information among physicians, among provider organizations and to other 3rd parties, including patients.
Healthcare providers have been using direct secure messaging for care coordinating for a while but there may be ways to use it more fully to reduce readmissions, reduce unnecessary testing and procedures and even increase provider productivity. Some benefits may include:
- Providers can insert secure messages into any point of their workflow.
- Primary care providers can interact with specialists to potentially result in fewer referrals; ultimately reducing costs to the healthcare system.
- Hospitals can improve transitions to nursing facilities and nursing homes can improve the communication with providers to reduce the need for readmissions back to the hospital.
- Medical records departments can interact with the patient send their records more easily saving them time and money.
- Researchers can seamlessly interact with patients on release of health sciences information.
Once HIEs are fully implemented, query based networks will provide robust data exchanges, but DSMs will continue to be valuable especially for smaller practices and hospitals that do not have the means to implement sophisticated EHRs.
Perficient places the consumer at the forefront of healthcare technology solutions. Our dedicated national practice, combined with Perficient’s more than 1,000 business and technology professionals, delivers innovative and intelligent solutions for hospitals and health systems, integrated delivery networks, health plans, life sciences and state and federal government agencies. Perficient is uniquely positioned to deliver HIE assessments and strategic roadmaps. Stop by our booth at #HIMSS14 booth #2035 to view our case studies.
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See my blog “What is the role of health exchanges to maximize our time in the doctor’s office?” to learn more.