Since then, I've written many times about the need to transport standard specifications to accelerate interoperability. It's even one of my FY11 keep me awake at night topics.
Today, the Direct Project team issued this press release.
As Arien Malec, Coordinator of the Direct Project, noted in his Thanksgiving message to the project participants:
"We have two specifications that are content complete (needing editorial review and revision); two reference implementations that are at a 1.0 state and can "out of the box, just add trust" enable exchange with a simple install and configuration; some amazing documentation, from the elegant generalist overview, to the most geeked out installation and programming guides; a compelling presentation; solid best practices and security reviews to protect privacy, security and trust; and some incredible implementation geographies integrating directed exchange into physician workflow to enable meaningful use and improved quality."
This effort is terrific and I look forward to the thorough analysis of the implementation specifications that the HIT Standards Committee will do over the next month to ensure the work meets the design requirements for simple, direct, scalable, and secure transport.
Tomorrow, the HIT Standards Committee begins that process by taking public testimony from six leading HIE vendors. It will be interesting to see who commits to implementing Direct and how they compare its specifications to other implementations of SOAP, REST, and SMTP for point to point data exchange.
There is no question that having alignment and energy behind a data transport solution is a critical need for the industry. You don�t need to go any further than a hospital referral department, awash in paper and fax machines, to know that this is really important.