How Patients Benefit From Direct

Health information exchange through Direct promises to deliver safer care and better outcomes for patients. Direct is a method for patients to access their own health information, which allows them to make better decisions and be more involved in their care.

  • Currently, patients’ health information often fails to reach the location where they are receiving care before they arrive, or at all
  • Treatment plans are often presented with missing or incomplete information
    • Tests are possibly repeated unnecessarily
    • Medications are potentially duplicated or stopped prematurely
  • Care after discharge from the hospital suffers
    • 75% of Primary Care Physicians do not obtain discharge summaries for patients at their first office visit after discharge
    • Patients are often responsible for remembering and relaying details of their hospitalization, including new medications and pending tests

Direct facilitates the flow of information to and from patients, meeting specific Meaningful Use, Stage 2 requirements in the process and enabling better coordination of care.

  • Patients can view, download and transmit their health records, hospital discharge instructions and consultation reports from specialists to their healthcare team members
  • Patients can use personal health records or portals enabled with Direct to send secure messages to their providers
  • Patients electronically receive visit summaries, instructions and reminders from physicians. This enables them to follow treatment plans, continue usage of appropriate medications, leading to better healthcare.

Direct helps improve the health of population of individuals by facilitating collection of public health information.

  • Immunization registries
  • Cancer and other disease registries
  • Submission of data for clinical quality monitoring
  • Syndromic surveillance (for example, Centers for Disease Control monitoring of flu outbreaks)