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DirectTrust Reports Over 72M Monthly Direct Secure Messages in 2022

The increasing number of direct secure messages sent and received via DirectTrust suggests a growing preference for direct secure messaging over faxing in the healthcare industry.

Healthcare industry alliance DirectTrust facilitated an average of over 72 million direct secure messages monthly during Q4 2022, marking a continued growth trend in the past year.

DirectTrust enables secure, identity-verified electronic exchange of protected health information (PHI) between healthcare organizations, providers, and patients to support care coordination.

Direct secure messaging promotes better communication and reduces organizational inefficiencies, according to DirectTrust.

In Q4 2022, the healthcare industry alliance facilitated almost 213 million messages, totaling over 3.7 billion direct secure transactions since 2014.

By the end of 2022, the number of healthcare organizations served by DirectTrust health information service providers (HISPs) increased, as per the DirectTrust report. HISPs served more than 282,000 healthcare organizations, engaging them in direct secure messaging. Several organizations and vendors joined the alliance last year, including Bitfocus, Carillon, UltraVisit, WellBeam Inc, and ZeOmega, increasing the total membership amount.

"The DirectTrust Network continues to show growth in messages sent and received,” Scott Stuewe, DirectTrust president and CEO, said in a press release. “There are also other indications that the healthcare industry increasingly relies on Direct Secure Messaging as an alternative to fax.”

“In the most recent Data Brief from the Office of the National Coordinator, the most common mechanism used to send or receive summary of care records between hospitals is Direct Secure Messaging edging out fax for the first time in 2021,” continued Stuewe. “There was a significate uptick in the percent of hospitals saying they were receiving messages this way.”

According to the report, the number of trusted direct addresses that share protected health information (PHI) increased by 4.7 percent to 2.7 million, compared to the same quarter in 2021.

DirectTrust noted a 7 percent increase in patient and consumer usage of direct secure messaging from the same quarter in 2021, rising to 700,000. This marks a rebound from the third quarter, where patient and consumer usage had declined by 4 percent to only 685,000, compared to 2021.

Additionally, in Q3 2022, the number of healthcare organizations served by DirectTrust HISPs and engaged in direct secure messaging decreased by 3 percent.

“The decrease in some of our third quarter metrics is the result of our continuing efforts to improve data quality as part of our Directory Improvement Initiative (DII),” said Stuewe.

“We're working with our community on communicating the significance and impact that updating and ensuring quality information in these fields has on Directory quality,” Stuewe said. “Our overall goal is to improve the use and usability of direct secure messaging by making it easier to discover the best Direct address to use for a given purpose.”

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