Healthcare ITNews presents
- Connect with US
Seeking to establish “a common set of principles” that will enable interoperability among healthcare providers, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) on Friday released its long-awaited Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA).
ONC said the TEFCA is “designed to bridge the gap between providers’ and patients’ information systems and enable interoperability across disparate health information networks (HINs).”
TEFCA also is essential to ONC’s mandate under the 21st Century Cures Act to facilitate interoperability between healthcare providers.
In a media conference call on Friday, ONC head Donald Rucker, MD, referred to TEFCA as “a network of networks concept.”
TEFCA includes two parts:
“This is not really dissimilar from other network governance,” Rucker said. “I would look at this as coordinating things, rather than a lot of policing needed. I don’t think that’s how networks tend to work.”
The public comment period for TEFCA will extend through February 18, after which the ONC will review comments. Barring serious concerns expressed by healthcare industry stakeholders, ONC intends to release the agreement in the spring.
The final TEFCA document is expected to be published in the Federal Register and on the ONC website in late 2018.
ONC will host a public, online webinar to review the proposed policies, terms, and conditions contained within TEFCA.