Pilot Project Brief - VisionShare and Public Health

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Sponsor(s)/Contact(s): Paul Tuten, VisionShare



Providers of varying sizes have a need to securely submit immunization data to their state public health department. For the first stage of the pilot, providers will utilize VisionShare’s Direct Project HISP routing and secure messaging services to send the immunization message to the public health department. The message will be formatted as HL7 VXU messages or in other formats dictated by the state department of health and embedded in the standard NHIN Direct RFC5322 container. It will be S/MIME signed and encrypted and S/MIME decrypted and verified as specified by the Direct Project.

In order to help bridge public health departments into the Direct Project initiative, the secure PHINMS communication standard will be used as the Direct Project destination edge protocol. Providers will be able to send immunization messages through their HISP using whatever Direct Project source edge protocol they have negotiated with their HISP. This approach allows the public health departments to leverage existing investments in PHINMS while simultaneously enabling providers to communicate immunization information using a communication protocol with which they are comfortable. In short, the two parties may securely communicate while remaining technologically decoupled from one another. This is made possible by Direct Project security, addressing, content packaging, and routing standards coupled with the enabling concept of a HISP.

The following diagram shows a high level view of providers utilizing multiple HISPs to send immunization data to a department of health.



VisionShare will serve as the HISP for one or more state departments of health.

The Minnesota Department of Health will play the role of Direct Project Destination.

Hennepin County Medical Center will play the role of a Direct Project Source. Other providers will be added.

Resources Anticipated Being Available for Pilot

VisionShare and the state department of health will recruit providers to participate in the initial pilot. All other resources will be provided by the state department of health or VisionShare.

Success Metrics

A successful conclusion of the first stage of this pilot will see two or more hospitals (or other provider-focused entities) in Minnesota submitting immunization data to the Minnesota state department of health through the Direct Project.

Status: As of January 12, 2011 Hennepin County Medical Center is sending production immunization data to the Minnesota Department of Health's immunization registry as described above.