The Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA) has a goal of enabling participants across the country to engage in health information exchange outside their current networks and across state lines.

Work on TEFCA began with the passage of the federal 21st Century Cures Act in 2016. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says “The Common Agreement establishes the technical infrastructure model and governing approach for different health information networks and their users to securely share clinical information with each other-all under commonly agreed-to rules-of-the-road.”

WISHIN supports the effort to establish a “single on-ramp” to nationwide connectivity. WISHIN CEO Joe Kachelski says: “We know that most patients’ health-care encounters take place within a compact geographic area, but the exceptions can create information gaps that complicate clinical decision-making and care coordination. WISHIN was one of the first HIEs in the nation to onboard to the eHealth Exchange. TEFCA could allow the concept of inter-state and inter-network exchange to evolve even further. We’re following the developments closely and are evaluating the best way for WISHIN to operate in the post-TEFCA environment.”

The Sequoia Project Inc. is the Recognized Coordinating Entity (RCE) overseeing the development of technical and legal standards under TEFCA. The Sequoia Project anticipates the first Qualified Health Information Networks (QHINs), which will operate as transfer points for data originating within networks like WISHIN’s, initial establishment of the new national network will begin this year.

Stay updated on TEFCA through the WISHIN website.