Almost 30 States Using Open Source Direct Project to Exchange Data

Brett Andriesen | Health IT Buzz | June 18, 2012
In nearly 30 states across the nation—with a dozen more to go live this summer—doctors and hospitals can now share patient health information electronically and securely to support safe care transitions and informed referrals to other providers using the Direct Project  services offered by ONC’s State Health Information Exchange Program grantees. Using the Direct Project to share important patient health information is a time-saver for doctors and patients (e.g., no need to stand over the fax machine), avoids the need for expensive duplicate tests and supports better care.

The Direct Project offers health care providers a means to share health-related information as easily as they use email today, with security to protect patients’ privacy and a “lightweight technology architecture” that can be implemented in scaled deployments across the nation. Though the Direct Project is just one piece of the puzzle in a larger, national strategy for health information exchange , providers can use the Direct Project to easily meet the existing and future health information exchange requirements of Meaningful Use, including public health reporting, receiving structured lab results, improving care coordination, ensuring safe and efficient transitions of care, and engaging with patients.

To date, several thousand providers have signed up for the Direct Project services, ranging from primary care to behavioral health providers,specialists, and public health professionals. Seven states—Wisconsin, Delaware, Arkansas, Illinois, California, Florida, and West Virginia—have already signed up 300 or more providers. For more information on how grantees are driving adoption, check out our latest report at