DirectTrust today announced the launch of Partnership for Patients Program (P4PP), an initiative that will make it easier for patients and health care consumers to securely share personal health information with medical professionals at hospitals, offices, clinics and other locations via secure email.
DirectTrust is a non-profit health care industry alliance created by and for participants in the Direct exchange network used for secure, interoperable exchange of personal health information (PHI) between provider organizations, and between provider and patients, for the purpose of improved care coordination.
P4PP aims to remove the barriers of cost and complexity that can make it difficult for patients and consumers to engage in two-way digital communication with their care providers, even in the “age of the Internet.” P4PP features DirectTrust members whose products and services offer consumers and patients secure email on the same network used by tens of thousands of their providers and hospitals.
“The need for patients and consumers to take charge of their health information, communicate with their providers about their health and be free to move their health information anywhere they choose has never been greater,” said DirectTrust President and CEO David C. Kibbe, MD, MBA. “This, of course, means individuals must have access to their personal health information stored in their providers’ EHRs and other health IT systems, and have that access electronically and digitally. It also means that individuals who desire it have the ability to download copies of their health information, or any parts of their medical record, and to collect, manage and transport the information to other providers. The Partnership for Patients Program gives patients and consumers all of these options.”
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires that health care providers provide access to personal health information in the format and file type—including electronic—requested by the patient. Individuals who join P4PP will have access to DirectTrust’s nationwide network of 58,000 health care organizations and more than 1.2 million email addresses. Participants can then take advantage of Direct exchange, which enables electronic health information exchange as easy to use as regular email, with one big difference: Direct protects information through encryption and identity assurance, so the privacy of the information is kept secure and reaches only those individuals who are authorized to receive and use it.
Four DirectTrust members currently participate in P4PP and provide the necessary identity proofing and certificate issuance with EHNAC-DirectTrust accredited healthcare information service providers (HISPs) to onboard consumers and patients with Direct email accounts. They are IdenTrust, iShare Medical, MaxMD and DataMotion. Additional DirectTrust members have committed to participate in P4PP in the coming weeks and months.
Patients interested in joining P4PP can visit the DirectTrust P4PP website to access step-by-step directions for setting up an account. Once there, individuals can visit each of the participating member sites to learn about their product offerings and decide which offerings work best for them and their families.
DirectTrust is a four-year-old, non-profit, competitively neutral, self-regulatory entity created by and for participants in the Direct community, including Health Internet Service Providers (HISPs), Certificate Authorities (CAs), and Registration Authorities (RAs), doctors, patients and vendors, and supports both provider-to-provider as well as patient-to-provider Direct exchange. DirectTrust received a Cooperative Agreement Award from ONC as part of the Exemplar HIE Governance Program that was in place from March 2013 to March 2015. DirectTrust serves as a forum and governance body for persons and entities engaged in Direct exchange of electronic health information as part of the Nationwide Health Information Network (NwHIN). DirectTrust’s Security and Trust Framework is the basis for the voluntary accreditation of service providers implementing Direct Messaging of health information. The goal of DirectTrust is to develop, promote and, as necessary, help enforce the rules and best practices necessary to maintain security and trust within the Direct community, consistent with the HITECH Act and the governance rules for the NwHIN established by ONC. DirectTrust is committed to fostering widespread public confidence in the exchange of Direct Messaging of health information. To learn more, visit www.directtrust.org.
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