FISHKILL, N.Y., April 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- MedAllies CEO A. John Blair III, MD, has been elected chair of DirectTrust.org, Inc., an independent association created by and for participants in the Direct community and dedicated to secure health information exchange (HIE) between providers and patients.
Direct, a national effort to fast-track electronic information exchange, benefits physicians and patients by improving the transport of health information across different electronic health record (EHR) systems.
"With the advent of the federal standards and incentives for interoperability, we have a new-found opportunity to significantly accelerate information sharing across health care settings," Blair said. But, he warned, "there are gaps related to trust and security. DirectTrust tackles those issues head on. We are moving rapidly toward closing those gaps before they stall the interoperability momentum created by the work of ONC and CMS."
Blair identified three primary goals he has for DirectTrust:
- Develop a self-sustaining national accreditation program.
- Create an efficient and effective trust anchor bundle-sharing program. (Within Direct, messages are transported between trusted parties. The technical expression of a trust relationship is the exchange of trusted anchor certificates, or trust anchors. Trust bundles are a collection of trust anchors.)
- Craft an agreement that binds participating Direct health internet service providers (HISPs) to the accreditation process and precludes the need for separate, one-off agreements.
Blair was among the Direct pioneers who helped develop and assemble consensus standards that support secure exchange of basic clinical information and public health data.
"John Blair brings years of experience as a clinician, business leader and technologist to DirectTrust's board of directors. He knows how to collaborate in an area where no one can go it alone, which is what health information exchange needs for success," said DirectTrust President and CEO David C. Kibbe, MD, MBA. "John has made a career out of finding ways to get things done to improve health care quality while also improving the lives of health care providers, often through optimal uses of information technology. I am very pleased to be able to work with him at this exciting time in the evolution of applied health care information technology."
In March, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology awarded DirectTrust a cooperative agreement to participate in the Exemplar HIE Governance Program. DirectTrust will partner with ONC to develop and adopt policies, interoperability requirements and business practices that align with national priorities, overcome interoperability challenges, reduce implementation costs, and ensure HIE privacy and security.
MedAllies, founded in 2001, has extensive experience with EHR implementations and workflow redesign to improve clinical care. It provides unmatched expertise in health information exchange and Direct services. MedAllies operates the THINC eXchange, an HIE designed to increase the completeness of information at the point of care, improve care coordination and standardize quality and public health reporting in New York's Hudson Valley. It has provided Direct services since the Direct Project's inception and has several pilot sites in New York state. MedAllies Direct Solutions builds on existing technology to achieve interoperability, with physicians using their current EHR systems, allowing information to flow across disparate EHR systems in a manner consistent with provider workflows. MedAllies Direct is a tool to advance primary care models that emphasize care coordination and improved care transitions, and support patient-centered care.
DirectTrust is an independent non-profit trade association created by and for participants in the Direct community. Its goal is to establish and maintain a national Security and Trust Framework in support of Directed exchange. Members of DirectTrust now include over 60 representatives from HISPs, HIEs, certificate authorities, consultants, state agencies and EHR vendors, as well as health care providers who are their purchasers and subscribers. DirectTrust is competitively neutral, and we welcome new participants. For more information, please visit DirectTrust.org.
 | The joint EHNAC-DirectTrust accreditation program accredits entities that perform as "trusted agents," including health internet service providers, certificate authorities and registration authorities.
 | Direct Scalable Trust Forum
 | Implementation Guide for Direct Project Trust Bundle Distribution