DirectTrust Announces Updated Aggregated Directory Data Sharing Policy

Updated on November 9, 2023

DirectTrust™, a non-profit healthcare industry alliance focused on furthering trust in health data exchange through standards, accreditation, and other services, today announced that its Board of Directors approved the DirectTrust Aggregated Directory Data Sharing Policy V4.0. Aligning with goals set forth by the organization’s Directory Improvement Initiative, the updated Directory Policy will increase the functionality, access, and usability of the DirectTrust Directory.

“Our members recognize securely communicating clinical data between health organizations is essential for providing the best patient care. An easy-to-navigate and accurate provider Directory is critical to facilitating this timely and important exchange,” said Scott Stuewe, DirectTrust President and CEO. “This updated Directory Policy marks an important step forward in DirectTrust’s history as it represents our ongoing commitment to cultivate a high-quality national Directory asset, ultimately advancing the use of Direct Secure Messaging as a valuable data exchange option within the broader healthcare landscape.”

The DirectTrust Aggregated Directory Data Sharing Policy V4.0 introduces several key updates. For starters, participation is enhanced by mandating that every Accredited Health Information Service Provider (HISP) must actively take part in the Directory by sharing addresses of their customer organizations. To access the Directory, these customer organizations are required to contribute at least one Direct address – which could be a workflow/organization address rather than an individual clinician address – ensuring their active involvement. Uploads and downloads of the Directory by HISPs must occur at least every 72 hours and be immediately available to customers, promoting real-time data access.

The updated policy also enables new use cases by allowing collaboration with relevant parties, such as CMS, to ensure the accuracy of both the DirectTrust Directory and other national directory assets, like National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) data. Lastly, an additional access option is provided by enabling a secondary means of Direct address lookup through the DirectTrust website, complementing the primary access point through the HISP for clinicians and care teams.

“Finalizing these updates to our Directory Policy is a testament to the dedication and invaluable collaboration among the members of the Direct Directory Policy Workgroup, Sub-Workgroup and HISPs,” said Alex Young, DirectTrust’s Director of Technical Operations. “The policy revisions have opened doors to innovative use cases and collaborations, which promise to enhance the accuracy and reach of our Directory. As we look to the future, we envision a Directory that is not only comprehensive and current but also serves as a beacon for interoperability across the healthcare spectrum.” 

In March of 2022, DirectTrust publicly launched the Directory Improvement Initiative—signaling the organization’s long-term commitment to continuous improvement, validation, and verification of the quality of information maintained in its Directory. The Initiative contains three main prongs related to technical development, education, and updating the Directory Data Sharing Policy.

HISPs must comply with the updated Directory Policy requirements by October 18, 2024. For more information or to view the complete DirectTrust Aggregated Directory Data Sharing Policy V4.0, click here

About DirectTrust

DirectTrust™ is a non-profit, vendor-neutral alliance dedicated to instilling trust in the exchange of health data. The organization serves as a forum for a consensus-driven community focused on health communication, an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards development organization, an accreditation and certification body through EHNAC (the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission), and a developer of trust frameworks and supportive services for secure information exchange like Direct Secure Messaging and trusted, compliant document submission.

The goal of DirectTrust is to develop, promote, and, as necessary, help enforce the rules and best practices necessary to maintain privacy, security, and trust for stakeholders across and beyond healthcare. In addition, DirectTrust is committed to fostering widespread public confidence in the interoperable exchange of health information while promoting quality service, innovation, cooperation, and open competition in healthcare. To learn more, visit:

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