ONC: High Praise for Direct Messaging Adoption

In early April, a new chief of the Office of the National Coordinator for Healthcare Information Technology was appointed. Donald W. Rucker, MD, is being lauded as one of the most qualified choices to lead that agency. On June 9th, 2017, he addressed the Direct Exchange Workshop in Washington, D.C. on the topic of Direct Messaging adoption.

Whether you’re a user, or just an advocate of Direct Secure Messaging (Direct), you couldn’t be blamed for feeling a surge of gratification hearing Dr. Don Rucker’s address to the Direct Exchange Workshop.  Dr. Rucker spoke enthusiastically about Direct Messaging adoption, extoling it for gaining wide traction early in its life cycle and for paving the path to nationwide interoperability, unfettered data exchange, improved outcomes, lower costs, and enhanced patient satisfaction.

To skeptics who might argue that the upward trajectory of Direct Messaging adoption could be stymied by emergent interoperability protocols, Dr. Rucker was emphatic that Direct has achieved critical mass adoption and that it is poised for wider spread uptake.  He pointed out that thanks to the investments made by DirectTrust and its member HISPs, the interoperability “plumbing is in place,” and that utilization will accelerate as new use cases and workflows proliferate.

At $38MM, ONC’s FY 2018 budget is reduced from the previous year’s allotment of $60MM but with a renewed mandate to focus on interoperability and anti-data blocking enforcement, ONC appears as motivated as ever to promote and advance Direct Messaging adoption.  Such motivation is made actionable by levers at ONC’s disposal such as the Health IT Certification Program, connection with OCR to enforce data privacy and security in relation to health information through HIPAA, and arrangements with the Inspector General to issue penalties for data blocking.  ONC also has legal grounds to act thanks to the 21st Century Cares Act which is the legislative engine driving interoperability.

Dr. Rucker’s background as an MD, a clinical informatics expert, and a healthcare technologist in the private sector combined with legislative backing in an environment of healthcare delivery transformation, suggest, collectively, that Direct Messaging is well positioned to grow.  At DataMotion, we will continue work toward ONCs objectives through DirectTrust, with our customers, and our partners. Contact us to learn how Direct Messaging and all our health information delivery solutions can help you achieve your objectives.

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