Minnesota and Rhode Island became the first states to participate in pilot program for direct sharing of electronic health records via the Internet, known as the Direct Project.
âThese efforts . . . mean weâre on schedule with a very important new tool that will soon enable health care providers to safely transmit patient data over the Internet, instead of relying on mail and fax,â the two posted in a blog entry on the ONC website.
Blumenthal and Chopra said the pilot program, which will soon expand to include New York, Connecticut, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas and California, is the first step toward making the Health Information Exchange accessible to healthcare providers nationwide.
The HIE aims to bolster the Health and Human Services Departmentâs efforts to get providers on board with using EHRs and other health IT practices.
The project came about because of the simple act of asking why not? Chopra said at a December forum on government and technology. Why shouldnât a patientâs doctor be able to email (securely, of course) the patientâs EHR to another doctor?
That question was the genesis for the Direct Project, a large-scale public-engagement project that eschewed a traditional âtop-downâ approach.
Civic engagement led by the government, allowed developers to create solutions âin a way that advanced or unlocked some of the potential . . . (of) our Internet infrastructure, and you will see that play [out] Â time and time again,â Chopra said.