Federal regulators’ recently issued draft for a “trusted exchange framework” aimed at propelling nationwide, secure, interoperable, query-based health data exchange is a complex proposal that requires careful analysis, says David Kibbe, M.D., leader of DirectTrust, which governs the secure “Direct” healthcare email protocol.The draft framework, announced on Jan. 5 by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, “appears to … set up a voluntary federation for standards-based health information exchange organizations … for ‘pull’ and ‘query response,” Kibbe says.In contrast, DirectTrust’s much simpler and narrower Direct protocol provides specifications for a secure, scalable, standards-based way to send encrypted health information directly to known, trusted recipients over the internet.

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