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The Direct Project

Welcome to the Direct Project's Implementation Group home page (wiki).

Recent News and Announcements

  • Approved Consensus Statement - follow this link to consensus vote page (now closed). The call for consensus closed at 1pm ET on 6/4/2019. The following consensus statement was approved:
    • DirectTrust Standards has recently become an ANSI accredited standards development organization and has confirmed its willingness to manage the future development and maintenance of the specifications, implementation guides, and other associated documents that have been previously published and/or maintained by the Direct Project. The Direct Project community believes and expects that DirectTrust Standards will act in good faith to continue the mission of the Direct Project community, including committing sufficient resources to ensure continued open access to these documents and their successors, and to provide an open consensus-based process for the future management of these documents for all interested stakeholders who wish to participate. Thus, by consensus, the Direct Project community accepts DirectTrust Standards as an appropriate steward to manage the Direct Project specifications going forward.
  • Announcement from DirectTrust and call for participation:
  • Please refer to the DirectTrust Standards page for additional information.
  • Previous News and Announcements

What is the Direct Project?

The Direct Project develops specifications for a secure, scalable, standards-based way to establish universal health addressing and transport for participants (including providers, laboratories, hospitals, pharmacies and patients) to send encrypted health information directly to cryptographically validated recipients over the Internet. The Nationwide Health Information Networkis a set of standards, services and policies that enable secure health information exchange over the Internet. The project itself does not run health information exchange services. Several Federal agencies and healthcare organizations are already using Nationwide Health Information Network standards to exchange information amongst themselves and their partners. The Direct Project will expand the standards and service descriptions available to address the key Stage 1 requirements for Meaningful Use, and provide an easy "on-ramp" for a wide set of providers and organizations looking to adopt. At the conclusion of this project, there will be one nationwide exchange, consisting of the organizations that have come together in a common policy framework to implement the standards and services. This project is open government, and as such, contains avenues for a broad range of public participation. See below for more information on participation.

Who is Direct?

Direct Project stakeholder members come from across the healthcare IT industry to make up the Implementation Group Committed Organizations. The key deliverables of the project currently being developed by stakeholder members are standards and service definitions, implementation guides, reference implementations, and associated testing frameworks. The project itself will not run health information exchange services.

Project members belong to the Direct Project Implementation Group (IG) and at least one of the following workgroups under the Direct Project:
  • Implementers Workgroup:
    provides a community of practice for post-implementation matters and practices related to Direct, including Direct Project specifications and implementation guides, adoption efforts, and innovative uses and deployments.
  • Reference Implementation Workgroup:
    creates a solid open-source reference implementation and associated libraries implementing the Direct Project specifications.

The policy direction for the Direct Project is defined in concert with the Nationwide Health Information Network Workgroup and the Privacy and Security Tiger Team underneath the HIT Policy Committee. Many of the core concepts for the Direct Project were first explored is a series of blog postings by Wes Rishel and David McCallie. The Direct Project is currently coordinated by Luis Maas and in the past received guidance from the Office of the National Coordinator. See the Direct Project FAQ for more details.

When will Direct be implemented?
This site collects the User Stories and Specifications and Service Descriptions for the Direct Project. These stories, specifications and service descriptions served as the basis for exploratory implementation work and pilot projects. Currently, operational pilot projects are already demonstrating simple, direct exchange, paving the way for widespread adoption through 2011. See the Overall Process page for more details.
How to get Involved
Keep me Informed

How can I contribute?

  • To post on The Direct Project wiki simply create an account on this wiki (NOTE: If you previously had an account on the Direct Project wiki hosted by wikispaces, you'll need to create a new account, due to the August, 2018 site migration).
  • You can review the existing user stories and our suggestions for development, and then jump into any of the discussions on each page.
  • Feel free to submit your own user story.
  • Refrain from defacement, abuse, commercial promotion, or other content that violates our guidelines for community participation.

Add my organization as an official Direct Project member

  • Contact [[1]] for information about submitting a statement of commitment, the first step to becoming a member organization of the Direct Project (NB: There is a known issue with this email address; a new address will be posted, when available.). We are currently developing New Participant webinars to help orient new users to the Direct Project, and assist organizations in implementing Direct Project specifications into their service offerings.