What is Direct Messaging?

Direct messaging is similar to secure web e-mail and is specifically designed for the exchange of patient health information across different EHR networks. Regular e-mail, fax, or snail mail involves the inherent risks of information being compromised or accessed by unauthorized users. Direct messaging is HIPAA-compliant and mitigates these risks by providing an easy way for a credentialed health care provider to securely share patient information electronically with providers who are outside the Practice Fusion network. Direct messaging can also be used to meet some Meaningful Use requirements and is a requirement for Stage 2 Meaningful Use.

Who can use Direct messaging? 
Practice Fusion users who have been verified using the verification standard available in the EHR are eligible to use Direct messaging. 

How do I start using Direct messaging? 
To request a Direct address, please see: How do I request a Direct account?

Once your Direct address has been provisioned, you simply log into the EHR and use the referral workflow to add Direct address information for contacts in your contact list. Reach out to your colleagues and begin including their Direct addresses in your contact list to start sending secure Direct messages using Practice Fusion. Please note: Direct Addresses that remain unused or inactive for an extended period of time may be deactivated.
(For detailed information on this workflow, see How can I send a referral using Direct messaging)

You can also add new Direct address information for your contacts through the Directory. 

How does Direct messaging relate to Meaningful Use? 
Some of the changes to the Meaningful Use program starting in 2014 include putting more emphasis on exchanging health information across providers and settings of care. Direct messaging allows you to securely send patient information to other providers who do not use Practice Fusion.

Stage 2 providers must complete Stage 2 Objective 5: Health Information Exchange, for which they need to use a CEHRT to create a summary of care record and electronically transmit the summary to a receiving provider for more than 10% of transitions of care and referrals. You may use Direct messaging to meet this measure and send a summary of care record and referral to another provider outside of the Practice Fusion network.

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