Health IT tip of the day: Use direct messaging, HIEs to share data out of network

Trying to share patient data outside of your respective network can be frustrating, but there are a handful of effective ways to approach the problem.

Scott Fannin, vice president of product development for interoperability for Greenway Health in Carollton, Ga.: Physicians need to get an electronic direct messaging address and share it with their colleagues. Participation is crucial for a standard to take hold and grow. If they have an EHR that is meaningful use-certified, they have at minimum the capability to send and receive clinical summaries of patients.

Another option is to utilize one of the many health information exchanges throughout the country that offer services that enable physicians to share data in a community, region or state. Physicians wishing to share patient records can join an HIE and have access to their patients' data from other participating practices.

A good place for physicians to start is to reach out to their EHR vendor and find out the interoperability capabilities that are available. There are many good options for meaningful data exchange through HL7 and CCD interfaces.

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