DirectTrust has acquired the assets of SAFE Identity, including its Trust Framework. The acquisition substantially extends DirectTrust’s capabilities and services and is expected to enable new and expanded interoperability use cases. SAFE Identity (SAFE) is an industry consortium and certification body supporting identity assurance and cryptography in healthcare. DirectTrust is a nonprofit healthcare industry alliance that supports secure, identity-verified electronic exchanges of protected health information (PHI) between provider organizations, and between providers and patients, for the purpose of improved coordination of care.
DirectTrust has created DirectTrust Identity, a new division, to house the SAFE Trust Framework. New and current members of both organizations will be able to rely on DirectTrust to manage policies and infrastructure supporting a community that issues secure and identity-assured credentials for electronic transactions in healthcare. SAFE Policy Management Authority (PMA) members will participate as members of DirectTrust Identity, which will operate the SAFE infrastructure used by multiple large pharmaceutical companies to securely interact with federal agencies (in accordance with 21 CFR Part 11) and business partners in the US and globally.
“Our acquisition of SAFE Identity’s assets is truly a groundbreaking moment for DirectTrust and the entire electronic healthcare information industry,” said Scott Stuewe, president and CEO of DirectTrust. “SAFE Identity and DirectTrust are like-minded organizations with memberships that share common goals. Since our inception, DirectTrust has focused on instilling trust in electronic health communication with the goal of improving health for individuals and populations. Both the DirectTrust and SAFE Identity trust framework communities seek to enable safe and secure transactions through the use of identity-assured credentials backed by a public key infrastructure and consensus-based policies.”
Stuewe continued, “Members will be able to interact with federal agencies for signing documents and authenticating to systems. Potential new use cases could include universally trusted healthcare credentials for consumers; identity assurance and security for the pharmaceutical supply chain (DSCSA), possibly all the way to clinical pharmacy; as well as medical device security and identification.”
DirectTrust, most recognized for Direct Secure Messaging and the Direct Standard it supports and promotes, came into existence with backing from the ONC as a public key infrastructure (PKI)-based trust framework to enable healthcare interoperability to scale. SAFE-BioPharma (predecessor to SAFE Identity) came into being when the FDA and pharmaceutical companies sought a secure and scalable mechanism to submit digitized reports to the agency. In response to a growing need for high assurance digital signatures, several large pharma companies established SAFE as a legal framework to facilitate trust and interoperability of digital identities with government bodies, including the FDA, DEA, and the European Medicines Agency. While SAFE Identity and DirectTrust have branched out to other missions since their beginnings, both credit their initial existence to collaborations with federal agencies, and retain important relationships and roles with the federal agencies.
To learn more about DirectTrust Identity, including Frequently Asked Questions, visit bit.ly/DTIfaqs.
DirectTrust announces that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Direct Messaging has joined the association’s Accredited Trust Anchor Bundle, allowing VA personnel access to the full national network of 1.8 million Direct endpoints. DirectTrust is a health care industry alliance created by and for participants in the Direct exchange network used for secure, interoperable messaging of protected health information (PHI) between provider organizations, and between provider and patients, for the purpose of improved coordination of care.
Participating in DirectTrust’s trust anchor bundle means VA providers and staff will be able to seamlessly engage in interoperable Direct Messaging and exchange of patient information with thousands of their counterparts in community hospitals and clinics in all 50 states and US territories, through the use of the providers’ electronic health records (EHRs). Use of the DirectTrust trust framework enables a single trusted “on ramp” for providers exchanging health information across a network that currently connects over 1.8 million providers using over 350 certified EHRs nationally.
“Admission to the DirectTrust Accredited Trust Anchor Bundle certifies that an organization has established and upheld a superior level of trust for its stakeholders, which is a significant distinction. Kudos to VA’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards in privacy, security, and trust in identity,” said DirectTrust president and CEO Scott Stuewe.
Margaret Donahue, M.D., Director of VA’s Veterans Health Information Exchange (VHIE) Program said, “VA Direct Messaging’s participation in the DirectTrust Accredited Trust Anchor Bundle will open significant new opportunities for VA personnel to securely share Veterans’ health information through Direct Messaging in every community in the country. This is a major step to increase care coordination with community (non-VA) providers who also provide care for our Veterans.”
DirectTrust Accredited Trust Anchor Bundle has as participants Health Information Service Providers (HISPs), Certificate Authorities (CAs), and Registration Authorities (RAs) that have achieved accreditation either through the DirectTrust HISP Accreditation Program for HISPs or the DirectTrust-EHNAC Trusted Agent Accreditation Program for CA/RAs (DTAAP-CA/RA).
The key value proposition of the DirectTrust Accredited Trust Anchor Bundle is to facilitate interoperable Direct Messaging between HISPs in a uniform and scalable manner that is consistent with industry best practices for security and trust, thereby avoiding the need for further one-off negotiations between relying parties who are participants in the bundle.
DirectTrust is pleased to announce the inaugural DirectTrust Summit to be held at the Marriott Suites Midtown in Atlanta, GA, June 10-11. The event will bring health care industry leaders together to share ideas and best practices around improving health information exchange and interoperability. DirectTrust is a nonprofit healthcare industry alliance created to advance the electronic sharing of protected health information (PHI) between provider organizations, and between providers and patients, for the purpose of improved transitions of care, care efficiency and coordination, patient satisfaction and reducing healthcare cost.
“We’re thrilled to be launching the DirectTrust Summit,” said Scott Stuewe, DirectTrust president and CEO. “The electronic sharing of health information is rapidly evolving, highly regulated, and holds great promise for all involved. Our intention with this Summit is to look to the future; to build awareness and understanding of the many elements involved in and influencing the electronic sharing of health information, and to foster collaboration between DirectTrust members and DirectTrust members with non-members. Our goal is to help advance the industry’s progress toward achieving secure exchange among provider organizations, and between providers and patients nationwide.”
The Summit is open to both DirectTrust members and non-members. The two-day event will feature a soon-to-be-announced keynote speaker focusing on policy and trust frameworks under the 21st Century Cures Act. Additionally, attendees will hear from two panels and have the choice of attending one of two breakout sessions. The panels include:
To FHIR and Beyond:The Future of Trust in Healthcare — A diverse group of experts on healthcare policy, standards, security, interoperability, and identity will discuss the role these elements play in establishing and maintaining trust in the healthcare ecosystem. Specifically, this group will debate how DirectTrust standards and policies can or should be extended for use with APIs and the app economy, FHIR, healthcare device integration, instant messaging, release of information, and the development of a comprehensive healthcare directory, among other topics.
The Role of Identity in Healthcare Exchange and Communications –– Identity, technology and security experts from within and outside of the DirectTrust community will discuss the challenges and solutions for successfully identifying organizations, individuals and machines in a scalable fashion. The group will discuss the extent to which technology and a trust framework can conform with new NIST guidelines for identity proofing to enable the successful and reliable identification of millions of consumers in particular. The group will also help tease apart the separate but related topic of patient matching from identity.
The full slate of speakers will be announced in the next few weeks. Additional information about the Summit may be found here or at bit.ly/DTSummit2019.