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DirectTrust Promotes Over 170M Direct Secure Messages in 2021 Q1

The health data exchange has streamlined over 2.3 billion direct secure messages since it started tracking the statistic in 2014.

DirectTrust has announced it facilitated over 170 million direct secure messages within its network during the 2021 first quarter.

The 172.5 million direct secure messages are a 21 percent increase compared to the same time in 2020. The nonprofit network reached nearly 2.3 billion total direct exchange transactions since it began tracking the statistic in 2014.

“We’re delighted to see the continued steady growth in Direct Secure Messaging following a hit to use during the early days of the pandemic,” Scott Stuewe, President and CEO of DirectTrust, said in a statement.

“Direct continues to be a reliable means for ensuring safe and secure transport of health information, and its consistent use—now averaging 57+ million per month—confirms our position that interoperability of electronic health information is here and will continue to gain traction as a cost-effective means of improving the coordination of patient care.”

The network reported a significant increase in patient and consumer addresses. The number increased by roughly 20 percent to over 655,000, compared to this time last year. It also rose from 2020 4Q, when it reported approximately 565,000 patient and consumer addresses.

Four healthcare organizations and vendors also joined the network during 2021 Q1: Arkansas SHARE, North Dakota Health Information Network, Sigmoid Health, and Medchart.

The number of healthcare organizations that leverage DirectTrust, use health information service providers (HISPs), and that engaged in direct secure messaging saw a seven percent increase to over 257,000, compared to 2020 Q1. This came on the heels of a nine percent increase in its number of providers between 2019 and the end of 2020.  

“Direct Secure Messaging is at the core of patient outcomes for not only local institutions, but the larger context of healthcare and waste,” said Isaiah Nathanial, Delaware Valley Community Health CIO. The ability to send patients and referring providers information in a standard, digestible format to impact clinical care and patient health outcomes is at the core of every CIO's job.”

“Now, there is no need to worry about where you send information out of your system because Direct Messaging has done all the leg work to validate entries, thereby ensuring successful data delivery. In addition, via Direct, the ability to route data appropriately within the EHR, such as NextGen Healthcare, enables providers to take action within their normal workflow and reduces information overload.”

Furthermore, the number of DirectTrust trusted endpoint addresses increased by nearly 10 percent since 2020 Q1, hitting a total of 2.6 million in 2021 Q1. 

“We look forward to our third annual Summit next month, where we’ll be examining what's working well and digging deeper into particular use cases, as well as envisioning the future,” Scott concluded. “We’re especially eager to advance our support of use cases related to Social Determinants of Health.” 

In February, DirectTrust surpassed over 2 billion direct secure messages since 2014.

This milestone was fueled by a record-breaking 265 million patient data exchange transactions during the 2020 Q4 and 719 million overall transactions in 2020.

“Notably, it took five and a half years for the number of Direct Secure Messages exchanged to reach one billion, and just 18 months to surpass two billion,” Stuewe said in February. “This milestone illustrates interoperability of electronic health information is here and continuing to gain traction as a means to facilitate better coordinated patient care.”

The nonprofit network rebounded after a massive 13 percent decrease in direct secure messages from 2019 Q1 to 2020 Q1.

At the time, the company explained that COVID-19 was the main cause of the decrease, which led to a drop in referrals and typical procedures.

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