In what might be a first, three state health information organizations, namely Missouri Health Connection (MHC), the Nebraska Health Information Initiative (NeHII) and the Kansas Health Information Network (KHIN), have connected to each other’s networks and are able to exchange secure messages following the Direct Project protocol.
The goal of a national, secure, interoperable network of health information remains elusive, but strides are being made in the form of small gains in interstate health information exchange (HIE). Federal officials have been pushing Direct, a standards-based method of sending authenticated, encrypted health data over the Internet to known, trusted recipients.
The three organizations tested interoperability last week with dummy data following the Direct protocol, which each offers to its members, Mindy Mazur, chief operating officer of MHC told InformationWeek Healthcare.
“It’s one of our services, and it’s obviously a priority at a national level,” Mazur said.
“We want to connect with all of Missouri’s border states and with RHIOs,” Mazur said, using the acronym for regional health information organizations. Centrally located Missouri touches eight other states, more than any other state in the country.