Glossary of Terms and Acronyms Related to e-Health
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A standard which defines protocols for the exchange of medical images and associated information (such as patient identification details and technique information) between instruments, information systems, and health care providers. It establishes a common language that enables medical images produced on one system to be processed and displayed on another.
A message sent from a source to a destination that conforms to the Direct-prescribed message structure.
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 known, trusted recipients over the internet.
Directed Exchange is a term used to describe the methods used by a health care provider to securely send patient information to another health care provider, care coordinator, or other stakeholder such as a Health Information Exchange (HIE) Organization. Health care providers and stakeholders who use directed exchange to securely send and receive health information may include clinicians, non-clinical staff, laboratories, public health agencies, local health departments, and registry or quality reporting organizations. Unlike query-based exchange where a requestor of information is querying another source for information if available, or consumer-mediated exchange where the patient is serving as the intermediary, directed exchange has a specific sender and receiver. There are many methods and approaches to send and receive information securely using directed exchange; these include, but are not limited to:
- Direct technical standard: Secure email-based solutions available within certified health information technology (health IT), such as electronic health records (EHRs) and some third-party applications to send and receive encrypted patient information. Learn more about the Direct technical standard at: Direct Basics: Q&A for Providers.
- Secure messaging applications: Internet-based solutions such as portals or mobile applications that enable health care providers to securely communicate with each other to send/receive health information. Secure messaging solution for providers may be integrated with or separate from certified health IT functionality that enables secure patient-provider communication.
- Web-services exchange standards: Health information can be exchanged using web services that enable secure system-to-system interaction over a network. Web-services enable systems to use existing internet connections to send/receive health information. Web-services may be implemented using secure internet rules to send/receive encrypted health information.
- Point-to-point interfaces: Health information can be exchanged using point-to-point interfaces that connect two systems securely over a private network, a virtual private network, or other network protocols that enable two systems to connect via a digital “handshake” for secure health information exchange.
- Secure Internet collaboration platforms: Providers give access to authorized third parties to view or add patient information on a secure Internet-based platform. Both parties accessing the platform have their own username/password associated with their accounts. These solutions may focus on document sharing or communications among patients care teams for patient relationship management. https://www.healthit.gov/sites/default/files/playbook/pdf/directed-exchange-for-providers.pdf
Used by providers to easily and securely send patient information—such as laboratory orders and results, patient referrals, or discharge summaries—directly to another health care professional. This information is sent over the internet in an encrypted, secure, and reliable way amongst healthcare professionals who already know and trust each other, and is commonly compared to sending a secured email. This form of information exchange enables coordinated care, benefitting both providers and patients.