ICA, which develops interoperability technology for health information exchange (HIE), announced that it will provide Direct capabilities to clients in six states through its CareAlign Direct messaging tool.
More than 4,000 providers are now taking advantage of Direct technology, via HIEs including Central Illinois Health Information Exchange, Iowa Health Information Network, Kansas Health Information Network, Upper Peninsula Health Information Exchange, New Jersey's Meridian Health Systems and Pennsylvania's Allied Health Information Exchange.
ICA's CareAlign technology helps users take advantage of Direct messaging in a health information services provider (HISP) environment, officials say. It includes full core interoperability function as well as numerous add-on services. Built within ICA’s larger interoperability and informatics framework, CareAlign Direct helps providers start out with Direct and expand to a more complete HIE solution for comprehensive care coordination, they add.
"ICA understands that Direct capability is not the final answer to effective clinical communications," said Gary Zegiestowsky, chief executive officer at ICA. Nonetheless, he said, Direct is an "unsurpassed foundation for building a comprehensive care management solution," offering providers a simple and secure way to "communicate clinical data quickly and easily."
CareAlign Direct offers the ability to exchange continuity of care documents and other attachments across multiple care settings, regardless of the electronic health record technology in place, say ICA officials. It also enables the sharing of lab, radiology and other diagnostic data to an extended provider network, and full integration with HISP to enable secure communications with core HISP-to-HISP interoperability.
[See also: Direct Project enjoys growing popularity]