In 2019, the ONC has awarded a cooperation agreement to the Sequoia project, which will serve as a recognized coordinating body (CEN) for the development, updating, implementation and maintenance of the Common Agreement and the Technical Framework for Qualified Health Information (QTF). Learn more about this announcement. TEFCA provides a framework for the exchange of patient information, which is absolutely necessary for our industry to improve our ability to fill our data silos. The goals that have pushed TEFCA to this point are good, but the road ahead will not be easy. In general, the goal is “more data where it is needed.” While this may be helpful, many of us know that more is not necessarily better. For TEFCA`s objectives to be achieved, there is still an ugly barrier. This problem is the quality of the data we have and that we share. Until we better control the quality of our data in each participant, we have the inherent risk of sharing a virus instead of a cure. If you look at our schoober analogy, you want to make sure your student has been vaccinated properly before sending him to school to avoid a measles outbreak. To address this issue, I think we need to think about how to improve the quality of the information we share. I don`t want to sound pessimistic. I think the TEFCA is a big step in the right direction. All we need to know is that we may not get the results we expect until we address the data quality issue.
If we don`t get these results at first, we should resist the urge to throw the baby out with the bathwater. If we break the data quality barrier, we will be much better off with something like LEFCA. “We are entering a critical phase of the joint agreement development process and we need input from organizations that agree to participate in exchange activities as part of the agreement. This ensures that the agreement is both practical and widely supported,” Yeager said. “This work offers the health IT community the opportunity to shape the future of interoperability via TEFCA. It is important that we include the implementation community and provide as many opportunities as possible for everyone to participate. The ONC has allocated approximately $1.1 million per year to our cooperation agreement with the Sequoia Project, the recognized coordinating body (CEN), to support the implementation of the TEFCA.