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Providers and Clinics | Hospitals | Medical Groups and IPAs | Accountable Care Organizations | Health Information Organizations | Ancillary Service Providers | 

Direct is a simple, secure, low-cost way to share health information electronically with the right person at the right time. As a tool to improve care coordination between providers in separate organizations, Direct can be easily integrated into existing referral patterns and practice workflows while significantly reducing faxing. Providers do not need to have an EHR to use Direct.

Common Scenarios

  • Transmitting referrals and care summaries

  • Alerting providers caring for a patient upon hospital admission, discharge, and transfer

  • Sending information to a patient’s Personal Health Record (PHR)

  • Coordinating patient care between ACO or PCMH partners

  • Exchanging information with ancillary providers

  • Facilitating public health reporting

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Providers and Clinics

Direct offers a way for providers to begin exchanging health information electronically through a few simple steps, at little or no cost. This ease of adoption allows Direct to spread through existing referral networks one provider at a time without requiring a centralized approach to data exchange. Direct is ideal for

  • Data exchange between primary care physicians and specialists
  • Notifying care team members about hospital admittance and discharge
  • Communication patient information outside your immediate community
  • Meeting Meaningful Use Stage 1 and 2 requirements


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Girlwheelchair_shutterstock_42160546Hospitals are responsible for providing critical care to patients that needs to be communicated to all care team members. Direct is an ideal tool that hospitals can easily use to send information to community physicians to improve care coordination. Hospitals can use direct to:

  • Send notifications upon a patient’s admittance, discharge or transfer
  • Communicate care instructions to patients through a patient portal
  • Receive information about a patient before admittance to reduce the likelihood of duplicate testing, and allow for immediate care planning

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Medical Groups and IPAs

Palmsunset_shutterstock_169190201Provider practices within a medical group or Independent Practice Association (IPA) often use a diverse set of EHRs, with many providers yet to adopt any EHR at all. With Direct, a medical group has the opportunity to promote clinical data exchange by its member providers regardless of their EHR. Promoting Direct adds value that medical groups and IPAs can extend to their members. Medical groups can also play an important role in engaging local hospitals in discussions about data sharing with community physicians.
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Accountable Care Organizations (ACO)

Providers and hospitals participating in an ACO need bi-directional capabilities to share information with one another to monitor and track their eligible patients. ACOs must track the care that their patients receive from providers and hospitals outside their organization. Direct can be used as a tool to send and receive updates with these other providers in the community and elsewhere when they provide care to ACO patients.

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Health Information Organizations (HIO)

doc_child_stethescope_hiCalifornia Direct offers a new channel for HIOs to connect with providers as a first step toward health information exchange (HIE) adoption. Some community HIOs have determined that implementing a HIE model compiles data on patients in the community, integrates this data, and creates an up-to-date longitudinal record of every patent that can be accessed by authorized providers. Direct, with its push-based model, is a complementary service that HIOs may consider deploying for specific provider segments and use cases.

  • Small practices and clinics may perceive that a community HIO is being driven by the needs of local hospitals, health plans, or county officials. Direct can complement the HIO’s core technical platform and allow small practices and clinics to exchange data with providers in the HIO at a price point that is acceptable to them.
  • Providers on the periphery of an HIO’s service area who adopt California Direct could be enabled to exchange data with the HIO and its member providers, potentially building momentum for the geographic expansion of the HIO.

Over time, many of these providers may seek deeper HIE capabilities and look to their community HIO to provide them.

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Ancillary Service Providers

meetingProviders of ancillary health care services have largely been left out of federal incentive programs that support the transition to electronic health records which improve the quality of care and reduce costs. With Direct, which does not require an EHR, ancillary service providers can now exchange data electronically with physicians and hospitals in their communities. Ancillary service providers that would benefit significantly from Direct include:

  • Long-term care facilities
  • Nursing homes
  • Surgery centers
  • Physical therapy

  • Emergency medical services (EMS)
  • Third-party chronic disease management organizations
  • Smoking cessation and weight counselors
  • Billing services

To discuss how Direct can support communication for these or related services, please contact us today!

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