HLN Attends Sequoia Project Annual Meeting On TEFCA

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HLN Attends Sequoia Project Annual Meeting On TEFCA

On December 5, 2019, Michael Suralik, project manager at HLN, attended The Sequoia Project’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.  TEFCA and Information Blocking were the big topics ...

On December 5, 2019, Michael Suralik, project manager at HLN, attended The Sequoia Project’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.  TEFCA and Information Blocking were the big topics of the day. It was a very substantive meeting and there was vibrant back and forth discussion and exchange of ideas between and among the presenters and the other meeting participants (see this report that summarizes the meeting).

Key Takeaways

  1. As the ONC’s new Recognized Coordinating Entity, the Sequoia Project is following in the footsteps of the ONC’s own approach to developing The Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA). Invited public health experts should participate in the targeted stakeholder feedback session on January 9, 2020.
  2. Adopting the FHIR standard into the QHIN Technical Framework portion of TEFCA appears to be a question of when, not if. 
  3. Health care providers should begin mobilizing now to comply with the final Information Blocking Rule. This is going to be a big deal.  
  4. Public health agencies and emergency management agencies should take notice of PULSE, an available disaster response platform that jurisdictions have successfully utilized to authenticate volunteer healthcare providers during a disaster and enable those volunteers to query and view patient documents from healthcare organizations that are connected to PULSE.
  5. The same Interoperability Matters cooperative which had analyzed the Information Blocking proposed rule, and had previously produced a Patient Matching Framework, will soon convene a new workgroup to begin its next activity which will be focused on issues of Data Quality. They will be seeking volunteers to participate.

As for TEFCA, there was no new clarity regarding how many QHINs might actually sign the Common Agreement or how fast they might implement support for the required functions. The answer to those questions will depend on producing (and then maintaining) a carefully considered and widely supported TEFCA. We feel hopeful about TEFCA’s trajectory based on the level of transparency, collaboration, engagement, and expertise that was experienced at their annual meeting.

This blog post follows up on our previous related posts – “TEFCA: A Public Health Perspective” (February 8, 2018) and “ONC Gets It Mostly Right with TEFCA 2.0” (April 24, 2019).