Accreditation will verify that Direct healthcare communications meet technical and legal standards for trust, security and privacy
FARMINGTON, Conn. – November 13, 2012 – The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC), a non-profit standards development organization and accrediting body, will partner with DirectTrust.org to create a national accreditation program for health information “trusted agent” service providers, including health information service providers (HISPs), certificate authorities (CAs) and registration authorities (RAs). Impetus for the initiative comes from the growth of electronic health records, health information exchanges, and programs such as Meaningful Use, which drive interoperability and data sharing among healthcare stakeholders.
Formal accreditation will launch in early 2013, but DirectTrust.org has already begun a testing and recognition program through which a number of HISPs and CAs have self-attested. This work will be integrated into the joint EHNAC/DirectTrust.org program. Criteria have been built on the “Security and Trust Specifications for HISPs, CAs and RAs” document developed by DirectTrust.org.
“The privacy and security of protected health information are critical to the practice of medicine,” says Lee Barrett, executive director of EHNAC. “This accreditation will guarantee that organizations participating in Direct Project initiatives establish and uphold a superior level of trust for their stakeholders.”
“Healthcare professionals have full plates in today’s healthcare environment,” says David C. Kibbe, MD, President and CEO of DirectTrust.org. “They are deeply committed to fulfilling their mission of providing quality care amidst constantly changing regulations. We’re confident this accreditation will remove one layer of concern, by assuring that standards are upheld by the security and trust agents upon whom Direct users depend for standards based inter-vendor communications.”
DirectTrust.org was formed by members within the Direct Project, and was initially known as the Direct ‘Rules of the Road’ Workgroup. The Direct Project was launched in 2010 by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) as a national initiative that specifies Direct as a simple, secure, scalable, standards-based way for participants to send authenticated, encrypted health information directly to known, trusted recipients over the Internet. Adoption of the Direct standard has become an EHR requirement for Stages 2 and 3 of the Meaningful Use incentive program.
The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) is a voluntary, self-governing standards development organization (SDO) established to develop standard criteria and accredit organizations that electronically exchange healthcare data. These entities include electronic health networks, payers, financial services firms, health information exchanges, medical billers, outsourced services and e-prescribing solution providers.
DirectTrust.org is a non-profit, competitively neutral, self-regulatory entity created by and for participants in the Direct community, including HISPs, CAs and RAs, doctors, patients, and vendors, and supports both provider-to-provider as well as patient-to-provider Direct exchange. The goal of DirectTrust.org is to develop, promote and, as necessary, help enforce the rules and best practices necessary to maintain security and trust within the Direct community, consistent with the HITECH Act and the governance rules for the NwHIN established by ONC.
Press contact information:
Megan Etling, Dodge Communications, 770-576-2572
Debra Hopkinson, EHNAC, 860-408-1620
David C. Kibbe, MD MBA, DirectTrust.org, 913 205 7968
Alice Nyberg, Rhode Island Quality Institute, 401-276-9141, ext. 264