All Systems Go: Clinician-to-Clinician Direct Messaging in New York
Albany Medical Center will be the first in New York to use clinician-to-clinician messaging, the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) said this week. NYeC along with Healthcare Information Xchange of New York announced the ability to offer the service called Direct Messaging in the state.
For years New York has been working on the technical architecture of the SHIN-NY, or the statewide health information network of New York. Currently most clinical information is exchanged at the local level, where health care organizations are supported by their regional health information exchanges. Albany Medical Center’s use of Direct Messaging, for example, is enabled by the Healthcare Information Xchange of New York (HIXNY), which serves as Albany’s regional HIE. HIXNY already allows providers to access patients’ community health records and lets them receive discharge summaries as well as imaging and lab results.
Now clinicians will be able to use Direct Messaging to securely send relevant encrypted medical data to one another. The service enables selective information sharing, so if a primary care doctor wants to begin a consultation process for one of his patients, he chooses the appropriate clinical information to send to a consultant. Then after the consultation, the doctor receives relevant clinical information right back.
Direct Messaging was developed according to Direct Project guidelines. Direct Project is a government initiative that encourages collaborative efforts by organizations in the health care and information technology sectors.
“[The] announcement is important for New Yorkers as it marks the deployment of simple, secure messaging that enhances connectivity and targeted care coordination among participants in HIXNY. This milestone allows providers to reach beyond the borders of existing regional exchanges, and even beyond state lines,” National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Farzad Mostashari, MD, said in a press release.
Electronic health record vendors will be able to provide Direct Messaging tools in New York, but first they must go through a testing program to ensure that the tools integrate into providers’ workflows. The testing program will begin this spring.