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Although the outlook for advancing interoperable, secure national health information exchange is promising, many significant challenges still must be overcome, says David Kibbe, M.D., founding president and outgoing CEO of DirectTrust. The group maintains the policies, standards, and practices of the Direct protocol for point-to-point encrypted messaging for healthcare.

“I’m pretty optimistic,” he says in an interview with Information Security Media Group. “But the healthcare system has some very, very significant problems. We are overpriced and under-capable in terms of quality. Everyone knows that. And there has not been a strong incentive for sharing … and moving health information across the boundaries of provider organizations and health IT systems.”