The Direct Project

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

Recent News and Announcements

  • NOTE: This wiki will be temporarily frozen until the transition to the new Direct Project wiki site is complete. Please stay tuned for updates, and in the meantime, note that any changes made to this site as of 7/18/2018 and beyond may not be migrated to the new wiki location.

  • New registration requests on this wiki will be on hold pending transition to the new site.

  • Direct Project's Implementers Workgroup reached consensus June 19, 2018, to advance the Implementation Guide for Expressing Context in Direct Messaging to version 1.1. More details on the guide and links to download can be found here.

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 coordinated by John Hall with the guidance of 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
  • To be notified about significant events and announcements from the project, follow the Direct Project blog.
  • Join in community discussion in the Direct Project discussion group.
  • If you'd like to stay actively involved, subscribe to an RSS feed or use the "Notify Me" tab to stay on top of updates to the wiki pages that interest you.

How can I contribute?

Add my organization as an official Direct Project member
  • Contact for information about submitting a statement of commitment, the first step to becoming a member organization of the Direct Project. 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.