A vexing problem looks to be on a path to being solved!
The vexing problem? How to take the paper out of the communications process!
"The Direct Project" is developing specifications for a secure, scalable, standards-based way to enable participants to send encrypted health information directly to known, trusted recipients over the Internet. In my view, this is the direction necessary to eliminate paper as the communications protocol among healthcare participants - namely providers!
For example, a primary care provided needs to refer a patient to a specialist or to a hospital. Today, these tasks are accomplished primarily through paper, often with fax. The Direct Project will enable a purely electronic solution! Here are other "stories" that have been defined.
And, here are some initial test implementations:
Pilot Project Brief - Rhode Island Quality Institute (shared documents)
Pilot Project Brief - Medical Professional Services (MPS)
Pilot Project Brief - MedAllies (Shared Documents)
Pilot Project Brief - CareSpark
Pilot Project Brief - Redwood MedNet
Pilot Project Brief - VisionShare and Public Health