Healthcare & Life Sciences
Improving Clinical Workflows Using Box and Direct Messaging
Although most hospitals, health systems and ambulatory care practices have converted to electronic health records systems (EHRs), many clinical workflows still rely on legacy fax and paper processes to share patient health information due to interoperability issues, compliance issues or complexities of such systems. In some cases – sharing patient diagnostic information is still more difficult than repeating tests and imaging procedures as a patient transitions from one care setting to another.
Meanwhile – cloud file sharing services such as Box.com are proliferating across all industries, including healthcare, as users find them easy to understand, easy to use and very efficient for getting work done by collaborating and sharing documents and images in intuitive ways. But clinical environments add complexity to file sharing services – HIPAA privacy and security rules must be met, and interoperability with EHR systems are often required to meet regulations, policies and to complete clinical workflows.
Pragmatic and practical health industry IT departments can consider Box for Healthcare – which can incorporate Direct Messaging services for exchanging patient records with EHR systems in full compliance with HIPAA and in support of Meaningful Use requirements. Box folders can be assigned a Direct Messaging address enabling medical records in mandated Consolidated Clinical Document Architecture (C-CDA) to be moved into the folder from an EHR system, and sent into EHR systems.
- Leverage the secure Direct Messaging protocol to communicate with your hospital EHR
- Ingest or push a Continuity of Care Document (in CCD-A format) into or out of Box via Direct Messaging
What is Direct Messaging?
Direct Messaging is an email-like service for exchanging health information in a very secure way. It is a national encryption standard for securely exchanging clinical healthcare data via the Internet. It specifies the secure, scalable and standards-based method for the exchange of Protected Health Information (PHI). It was developed in 2010 under a part of a federal project for standards-based healthcare communications. All ONC certified EHR systems can use Direct Messaging to exchange patient health records. As such – Direct Messaging is a widely used interoperable method of exchanging protected health information (PHI), such as clinical records, diagnostic test results, imaging results, and doctors notes.
How does it work?
As an upgraded feature of a Box for Healthcare account, Direct Messaging addresses can be provisioned and linked to individual Box folders. Once the address has been assigned – other Direct Messaging address holders (including those provisioned as part of hospital system or physician practice EHR systems) can send patient records into, or receive patient records from, the related Box folder.
Figure 1: Sending a file from an EHR to a Box folder using Direct Messaging addresses
Figure 2: Sending a file from a Box folder to an EHR using Direct Messaging addresses
Healthcare & Life Sciences