Qsource, State of Tennessee Unveils Initiative to Promote Secure Directed Exchange

Health eShare To Drive Tennesseans to Embrace Direct Exchange

A new initiative called “Health eShare” was unveiled to improve healthcare by encouraging adoption of health information exchange (HIE) between healthcare providers in Tennessee. Qsource, a Tennessee-based nonprofit healthcare quality improvement and information technology company, is working with the Tennessee Office of eHealth Initiatives to implement and support Health eShare.

Qsource is encouraging the adoption of Direct by providing education,outreach and technical assistance to interested healthcare professionals and their support staffs. Providers interested in using Direct or learning more about it can visit www.HealtheShareTN.com to understand benefits or sign up for Direct after completing a short  survey.

“Health eShare will be the driving force that helps Tennesseans embrace Direct and other technology that facilitates secure health information exchange,” said Dawn FitzGerald, chief executive officer of Qsource. “Transmitting health information electronically can reduce clerical  errors and provide a full picture of a patient’s status for all involved in the continuum of care. It’s imperative that everyone in Tennessee  rally around Health eShare Direct Project as an effective way to improve  healthcare.”

Using Direct to securely and immediately deliver health information has  many benefits. Physicians and hospitals can increase efficiency and lower their costs. Providers can reliably send orders to labs and receive results in a structured format. The required workload at  physicians’ offices can decrease by streamlining treatment authorization processes, simplifying reporting requirements to Medicare and other payers and improving communication between patient care teams.

Qsource has engaged several Tennessee communities—including providers in Hickman County, Memphis and Chattanooga—in using Direct to demonstrate its effectiveness to other providers. It anticipates unveiling a  state-wide HIE initiative by the end of the year.

“Direct offers secure delivery of health information for immediate use,” said Jennifer McAnally, director of tnREC, Tennessee’s regional  extension center for health information technology. “Exchange of paper records is slow, expensive and inadequate for quality care. Plus, traditional email and phone call exchanges may violate HIPAA requirements. Instead of fax, phone or hand delivery, Direct makes this exchange as easy as writing an email, but with guaranteed security.”

Additionally, providers who use Direct will qualify for Meaningful Use Stage 2 under the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ EHR incentive program. Meaning, providers and hospitals can receive payments since they’re providing access to various healthcare data sources and offering data exchange at transitions of care.

Two leading technology vendors—ICA and Cerner—will provide the technology that enables Direct. Both are recognized by DirectTrust.org, a national non-profit industry group dedicated to secure HIE.

Additionally, Dennison Tombras and Seigenthaler Public Relations are  supporting the marketing and public relations efforts for Health eShare.