The most efficient and sophisticated health information network is useless without access to actionable health information. With that in mind, Surescripts recently responded to the second draft of the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA 2.0). Issued on April 19, 2019, by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), TEFCA’s goal is to advance the establishment of a national health exchange infrastructure.
We support ONC in its ongoing commitment to fulfill the requirements set forth by the 21st Century Cures Act of 2016. In fact, we’ve been working towards similar goals for nearly 20 years. Founded in 2001 as a health information network for electronic prescribing, our innovation has allowed us to reach organizations that connect pharmacists, physicians, payers, and patients.
Together, the Surescripts Network Alliance is committed to saving lives, improving efficiency, and reducing the cost of health care for all, which is in line with ONC’s mission to break down information and technology barriers to improve healthcare. We believe that by considering the comments submitted — by Surescripts and others in the industry — ONC will be better positioned to accomplish the nation’s interoperability goals.
While we applaud ONC’s efforts to build on the first draft of TEFCA, we feel there’s still work to be done. TEFCA 2.0 contains some areas that are overly broad and subject to interpretation. If not addressed, these areas could result in an unstable interoperability marketplace. It’s also worth pointing out that TEFCA 2.0 appears to introduce specific standards and requirements on participants that could discourage participation from major industry stakeholders.
There is no question that this is a complex undertaking. We must all collaborate on setting definitions, building on current technologies, and fostering innovation. The Surescripts Network Alliance is committed to and working alongside ONC to do just that and create true interoperability nationwide.
Read our recent comment letter to learn more about the feedback we shared with ONC on TEFCA 2.0.