December 2019
2020 GaHIN/DCH Webinars Announced
GaHIN and the Department of Community Health (DCH) will deliver eight webinars in 2020, with each focused on topics that promote interoperability and the roles healthcare providers play in the continuum of care.
You can register now for the 30-minute webinars, which are held on the fourth Wednesday of each month. The webinars begin at 11:30 AM except the GAMMIS webinar in April, which will start at 11:00 to allow up to an hour.
Recordings of several 2019 webinars are available on the DCH website , including November’s “Accessing GaHIN through GAMMIS.” This popular topic attracts record attendees each time it’s presented, so it will be repeated in 2020.
2020 Webinars
January – It’s Time to Opt-In – GaHIN’s Lab Reports Service
February – How Grady Is Using GaHIN to Improve Care
March – Balancing Privacy and Access in Digital Health
April – Accessing GaHIN through GAMMIS
May – Digital Health Trends – Insights from HIMSS20
June – Five Ways to Maximize Your Use of Georgia Direct
July – Achieving Interoperability across the Care Continuum
August – How to Customize Your Clinical Viewer
VA Changes Make Data Sharing Easier
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) plans to opt all Veterans into health information sharing beginning in or after January 2020. This is a switch from the VA’s previous policy of having Veterans fill out a form (opt in) to allow health data exchange. Opt out forms are available on the VA website.
The agency has also changed the name of its data exchange program. Formerly known as the VLER Health Program, the new Veterans Health Information Exchange (VHIE) allows VA and community healthcare providers to share Veteran health information electronically and securely through VA Exchange and VA Direct Messaging.
The VA Exchange is a secure private network that “Connects Your Docs” by allowing VA and community health providers to share a Veteran’s health summary information, making it easier for a team of healthcare providers to coordinate and manage care.
Like other HIEs, the ability to access more key health information in near real time enables providers to quickly make informed decisions that result in better care. Other benefits include:
  • Gives providers immediate access to more healthcare information
  • Reduces duplicate procedures
  • Increases safety by providing a more complete medical record, such as a list of medications and allergies
  • Saves Veterans time and money
GaHIN Invited to Bring Expertise to DirectTrust
When DirectTrust was initially organized in July 2012, GaHIN was among the first HIEs to adopt the technology and branded it GeorgiaDirect. Today, GaHIN is a “power user” of the service, with more than one million messages exchanged in 2019 (compared with 747,960 messages in 2018).
GeorgiaDirect is a secure email messaging service that lets providers send and receive authenticated and encrypted patient health information over the internet to other authorized and trusted recipients – both within Georgia and nationwide. GaHIN offers GeorgiaDirect at no charge to authorized, credentialed providers.
Recognizing GaHIN’s success with DirectTrust, the non-profit association recently asked GaHIN to join the organization and participate in workgroups. As a member, GaHIN will have the opportunity to influence and shape the DirectTrust Trust Framework.
The Direct exchange is used by over 106,000 health care organizations and 1,582,373 Direct addresses/accounts.

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