What specific uses of Direct will benefit my practice?
- Hospital discharge information available to next care setting at time of discharge
Currently 75 percent of PCPs don’t have discharge summaries for patients at their first office visit after discharge. Too often physicians find themselves asking the patient “What happened in the hospital?” Patients become responsible for remembering and relaying details of their hospital visit including new medications and tests that are pending.
Direct can make hospital discharge information available to PCPs before the patient reaches their office.
- Closed loop referrals
Patients are often referred to specialists, including nutritionists and therapists, with little or no information sent with them. Consultation summaries from specialists often do not reach the PCP before the patient does, if at all, or may be filed in the patient record never seen by the PCP.
Like the situation with hospital discharges, patients are often left to answer the question, “What did the other doctor say?” Direct allows important clinical information to be exchanged securely between providers in a timely fashion.
- Patient engagement and access to their health information
Direct allows better flow of information to and from the patient. Patient information can be sent straight to their Direct address or to their PHR portal. Direct can meet MU2 requirements that patients can view, download and transmit their health information; that physicians can provide them with visit summaries; and that physicians can provide patient instructions and reminders.
With Direct, patients can use PHR’s or portals enabled with Direct to send secure messages to their providers.
- Lab order and results “loop”
Doctors can send orders to labs via Direct, helping meet the Meaningful Use requirement for computer physician order entry (CPOE). Major reference labs have already set up Direct accounts to make this possible.
Lab results are returned from the lab in structured format and can be incorporated into the EHR. This meets the Meaningful Use requirement for incorporating lab results as structured data.
With Direct, costly interfaces between the EHR and labs can be avoided.