What's the Difference?

Both SCHIEx DIRECT and SCHIEx EXCHANGE are sets of technology services, standards, and policies that are compliant with the national interoperability standards and the SCHIEx governance framework.

SCHIEx EXCHANGE is an advanced, fully automated form of exchange. Participants use an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system to “connect” and seamlessly discover and exchange needed clinical information about shared patients. SCHIEx EXCHANGE supports continuity of care across Participants and care systems to achieve the full potential of health information technology. Data may be shared for treatment and public health and quality reporting.

SCHIEx DIRECT is a simple form of point-to-point electronic communication directly between a sender and a receiver. Information can be sent for any permitted purpose allowed by law.

An Example illustrating how EXCHANGE and DIRECT are different.

A patient with multiple care providers presents at an emergency department over the weekend. The patient receives care and is discharged from the emergency department, with instructions to see his or her primary care physician Monday morning.

With SCHIEx EXCHANGE, the emergency department EHR system can automatically discover, retrieve and utilize up-to-date medical history including allergies, labs, medications, and procedures from the patient’s care providers that also participate in EXCHANGE. The following Monday morning, when the patient presents for follow up, the patient’s primary care physician can seamlessly access information about the emergency department visit via the practice EHR system.

With SCHIEx DIRECT in this example, the information from the patient’s care providers is only available to the emergency department if the providers are able to anticipate the visit and send information ahead of time. However, the emergency department can send visit information to the identified primary care physician via DIRECT, and, when the patient presents to this physician the following Monday morning, the information is readily available.

Although SCHIEx DIRECT does not have the advanced functionality of SCHIEx EXCHANGE, it is a good way to begin exchanging electronically, and will help reduce time and cost associated with paper and telephone communications.