Shannan Schmitt
Director of Communications
(513) 307-0328

Release Date: 1/21/2016

The Health Collaborative will now provide DirectMessage technology to improve patient care at the Cincinnati VA Hospital

CINCINNATI, OH – The Health Collaborative and the Cincinnati VA Hospital announced today the successful launch of connectivity between the two organizations through the use of The Health Collaborative’s DirectMessage technology, hbDirect, an emerging national standard for securely exchanging health information among health care providers.

The announcement is just one of a series of steps aimed at building healthcare connectivity across Greater Cincinnati to ensure that medical information follows patients wherever they go for care. Both organizations are working to connect hospitals and health care providers via electronic health information exchange (HIE) across the region.

“We’re excited to be partnering with the Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Hospital to establish an HIE-to-HIE connection,” said Jason W. Buckner, Sr. VP of Informatics at The Health Collaborative. “It’s an important step in expanding health information exchange and connectivity across our region, and ultimately, in ensuring that patients visiting our Veterans Affairs hospital receive the right care they need.”

By using DirectMessage technology, doctors, nurses, and other providers are able to share a summary of patients’ medical records and medication information, and send information about referrals electronically. Better information in the hands of providers at the point of care can lead to better decision making and faster, more effective treatment, more accurate diagnosis, and more positive outcomes for their patients.

hbDirect is based on the national technology protocol fostered by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) Direct Project and is specifically designed for simple, secure communication of health information in today’s health care context. This allows a provider to easily share a patient’s health information with another provider of care.

Any provider with an internet connection could utilize hbDirect to exchange patient information securely, electronically and instantaneously without having to establish expensive interfaces and removing the time-consuming process of printed, faxed or mailed exchange of patient information. Additionally, DirectMessage is an accepted standard for meeting federal meaningful use requirements and DirectMessage protocols are now used by electronic health record vendors, state and federal agencies.

About the Health Collaborative:
The Health Collaborative is a non-profit organization based in Cincinnati that strives to positively impact health status, experience, outcomes, and affordability by fostering a connected system of healthcare and community health through innovation, integration, and informatics in the Greater Cincinnati region and beyond. Its HealthBridge service line serves more than 30 hospitals and 7,500 physicians in Southwest Ohio as well as parts of Indiana and Kentucky. For more information about the Health Collaborative, visit