NHIN Direct: It Can't Happen Too Soon

It looks like NHIN Direct will provide a move toward a secure, Internet-based program to allow exchange of data in a more secure and useful way. Now the question is, "How fast and well can it be executed?" Being available yesterday would not be too soon.

This article originally appeared online at DrPullen.com

May 05, 2010

NHIN Direct: Getting to the Health Internet, Finally!

By David C. Kibbe

I’ve been spending a lot of time involved in several Work Groups of the NHIN Direct Project, being run by ONC/HHS. The Project is aimed at developing secure, affordable, health data exchange over the Internet so more physicians can participate in Meaningful Use. This project has major significance to physicians in primary care, to all doctors in small and medium size medical practices, and for many small hospitals, as it is a potential “game changer” with implications for both the EHR technology industry and quality improvement movement. Here’s some background and explanation about why and how. read more

Ed Pullen, MD, is a board-certified family physician practicing in Purallup, WA. He blogs at DrPullen.com - A Medical Blog for the Informed Patient.

I work at a mid-sized private practice family medicine practice, and we have been on the cutting, sometimes bleeding, edge of use of EMRs. For many years I have been frustrated with the lack of ability to exchange information with other physicians who need the information to take care of mutual patients. Faxing was a great jump on technology 20+ years ago, but it has many limitations, most important of which is that the data sent is unstructured, i.e. just a analog or now digital picture of the data. It cannot send information that can be easily moved into a digital health record in an way except a visual image of the data, so cannot be granular data in the recipients database. Now it looks like there is a move toward a secure internet based program to allow exchange of data in a more secure and useful way. This article on The Health Care Blog is long and technical, but exciting. Now the question is how fast and well can it be executed. Being available yesterday would not be too soon for me.