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22 Health Systems Commit to Adopting TEFCA Standards

Analysis  |  By Eric Wicklund  
   May 22, 2023

The health systems are all EHR clients of Epic, which hailed the news as step toward the establishment of a nationwide health information exchange.

(Editor's Note: A 23rd health system, Kaiser Permanente, joined this group shortly after this story was published).

Twenty-two health systems have pledged to join the Trusted Exchange Framework and the Common Agreement (TEFCA), furthering the effort to create a nationwide health information exchange.

The announcement was made by Epic, which supplies the EHR platform to all of the health systems and was the first EHR provider to announce its support of TEFCA.

“By joining TEFCA, these health systems reaffirm their ongoing commitment to improving patient care by advancing health information exchange,” Matt Doyle, the company's interoperability software development lead, said in a press release. “Our plan is to deliver software this year that will help our customers to be among the initial participants in TEFCA, and we’re optimistic that nearly all of the 2,000 hospitals and 600,000 clinicians that use Epic across the US will participate.”

TEFCA outlines a common set of principles, terms, and conditions to support the development of the health information exchange among different healthcare organizations. It will be designed to enable the exchange of electronic health information (EHI) and enable anyone anywhere to access healthcare data when needed.

[See also: HHS Names 6 HIEs as Qualified to Pursue TEFCA Integration.]

Federal officials unveiled the TEFCA guidelines in January 2022, fulfilling requirements of both the 21st Century Cures Act and HITECH Act that called for a clear infrastructure model and governing approach for a nationwide health information exchange.

According to Epic, the following organizations have pledged to adopt TEFCA standards:

  • Alameda Health System
  • Baptist Health (KY)
  • Cedars-Sinai
  • Contra Costa Health
  • Guthrie
  • Hawaii Pacific Health
  • Houston Methodist
  • Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • KeyCare
  • Legacy Health
  • Mayo Clinic
  • MetroHealth
  • Michigan Medicine
  • Mount Sinai Health System
  • NYU Langone Health
  • OCHIN
  • Pediatric Physicians’ Organization at Children’s (PPOC)
  • Rush University Medical Center
  • Stanford Health Care
  • UC Davis Health
  • Weill Cornell Medicine
  • Yale New Haven Health

"We have long supported regional partnerships to promote data sharing for treatment and our North California partners have been trailblazers in national interoperability as early participants in the Carequality Framework,” Matthew Eisenberg, associate CMIO at Stanford Health Care, said in the Epic press release. “We are excited about the vision of a simpler if not single on-ramp to secure, national health information exchange that will benefit all of our patients and providers.”

Eric Wicklund is the associate content manager and senior editor for Innovation, Technology, and Pharma for HealthLeaders.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

Epic has announced that 22 health systems, all of which use the Epic EHR platform, have pledged to adopt TEFCA standards.

The Trusted Exchange Framework and the Common Agreement (TEFCA) outlines a common set of principles, terms, and conditions to support the development of health information exchange among different healthcare organizations.

TEFCA was created through the 21st Century Cures Act and HITECH Act, which both called for a clear infrastructure model and governing approach for the creation of a nationwide health information exchange.


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