Government Health IT, March 17, 2011

A panel of the Health IT Policy Committee is exploring gaps in the infrastructure of health information exchange, solutions for which will be critical to some of the proposed objectives for stage 2 of meaningful use, such as incorporating lab results in structured data. The meaningful use work group wants to be sure that technologies, policies and standards will be in place in 2013 to support exchange goals. The use of the Direct Project for "push" exchanges, for example, is expected to grow rapidly among providers so they can share lab results and clinical summaries, said Farzad Mostashari, deputy national coordinator for policy and programs at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. A few provider organizations have begun to use Direct, a form of secure email whose protocols have recently become operational, to enable simple exchanges between providers and between providers and labs. "What is encouraging is the near weekly addition of organizations and vendors who plan on embedding those simple protocols within their product," he said at a meeting of the meaningful use work group.
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