Skip to main content Homepage

Direct secure messaging

What is Direct secure messaging?

Direct secure messaging is a simple and secure protocol that allows providers and other health care entities to securely share patient information. Direct was built on national standards developed through The Direct Project, an initiative sponsored by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). A key benefit of Direct secure messaging is that different and competing technologies can share protected health information easily and securely.
Direct secure messaging:
  • Enables sending and receiving secure messages and attachments containing patient clinical data through a national encryption standard
  • Allows a provider or organization to rely less on fax, telephone, regular mail, or couriers to transfer patient clinical information
  • Ensures receipt of a sent message via a “read receipt” when the message is opened
  • Is accessible over the internet via a modern web browser; no additional software needed
  • Can be used whether or not a clinic has an electronic health record system
  • Is compliant with HIPAA security guidelines
  • Includes audit logs that track the sender, receiver, date, and time a message is sent

How can I use Direct secure messaging?

There are many ways that health care providers can use Direct secure messaging for coordination of care. Direct secure messaging provides safer, more effective care tailored to your patients’ unique medical needs:
  • You can securely share patients’ vital medical history wherever your patients are receiving care—specialists’ offices, labs, or emergency rooms.
  • You can share information with other providers before your patient attends an appointment, ensuring better communication and higher quality health care.
  • You can send requests for medical records and receive records or Coordination of Care documents.
Other uses include:
  • Immunization updates
  • Patient visit summaries
  • Prescription histories
  • Billing inquiries
  • Medical referrals
  • Disability claims
You can send referrals for care to specialists who may not be using EHRs, including behavioral and mental health, drug rehabilitation, vocational rehabilitation, even attorneys dealing with health care issues Click here for more examples of how providers can coordinate care using Direct secure messaging.

Your browser is out-of-date! It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how