Direct Secure Messaging Makes Big Impact In Chicago Behavioral Health Community

Erica Galvez | Health IT Buzz | September 5, 2012

Individuals with serious mental illnesses are 2.6 times more likely than the general public to develop cancer and nearly twice as likely to end up in an emergency or inpatient department with a serious injury, according to recent studies conducted at Johns Hopkins.

For these patients, care coordination is necessary to support these acute care interventions, while providing basics such as preventive health screenings, risk factor modification, and medication safety across all health care settings. While electronic health information exchange is one tool that can help support care coordination, historically it has been challenging to launch across mental health and substance abuse care settings, due in part to the need for increased privacy protections. With a keen focus on supporting care coordination in these settings, Illinois is using the recent implementation of Direct secure messaging to enable electronic information sharing across primary care, acute care, and the broad behavioral health care community in the Chicago metro area.