"In addition to Direct messaging providing a secure means to send patient information, it also helps providers meet specific meaningful-use requirements by enabling the electronic exchange of patient-care summaries, results and other information," ConnectVirginia Executive Director Sandy McCleaf said in the statement. More information about ConnectVirginia can be found at the organization's website.
The Virginia Department of Health received a $11.6 million federal grant from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology as part of the $548 million federal program created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to establish health information exchanges in every state. ConnectVirginia is operating under a contract from the state Health Department to operate the exchange.
The Direct protocol was developed by the ONC in 2010 as a "lightweight" means to enable providers to electronically communicate clinical information with their known clinical partners in time to meet meaningful-use criteria under the stimulus law's Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive payment programs.