A group of providers is pledging to use Epic software to share patient health information through the Trusted Exchange Framework and the Common Agreement in a new agreement with Epic TEFCA Interoperability Services, the electronic health records vendor said.
WHY IT MATTERS
Epic says that the health organizations that are joining its qualified health information network are already using Epic’s interoperability tools to advance information sharing, but they will receive their interoperability software this year.
The set of providers was accepted to enter the QHIN testing phase under TEFCA in February, according to Monday’s announcement.
The EHR vendor noted that the participating medical organizations are some of the most renowned in the U.S. Those in the cohort joining the nationwide TEFCA framework range in size from large health systems and hospitals to safety nets.
“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,” said Dr. Matthew Eisenberg, associate chief medical information officer at Stanford Health Care, in a statement.
“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.”
The Epic QHIN’s pledging healthcare organizations are:
- Alameda Health System
- Baptist Health (Florida)
- Baptist Health (Kentucky)
- Contra Costa Health
- Hawaii Pacific Health
- Houston Methodist
- Johns Hopkins Medicine
- Kaiser Permanente
- Legacy Health
- Mayo Clinic
- Michigan Medicine
- Mount Sinai Health System
- NYU Langone Health
- Pediatric Physicians’ Organization at Children’s
- Rush University Medical Center
- Stanford Health Care
- UC Davis Health
- Weill Cornell Medicine
- Yale New Haven Health
THE LARGER TREND
With the launch of TEFCA last year, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and the Sequoia Project, the recognized coordinating entity for national interoperability, said they had three goals:
- To establish a universal policy and technical floor for nationwide interoperability.
- To simplify the secure exchange of patient data to improve patient care.
- To allow patients to gather their health information.
ONC inaugurated six QHINs to establish the universal policy for nationwide interoperability and simplify secure connectivity across organizations.
Last week, MedAllies announced its approval as the seventh QHIN under TEFCA.
“If we’re able to do this, we’re going to be able to realize one of the most significant aspirations that we have as a country today, which is to improve health outcomes for every American irrespective of gender, irrespective of sexual orientation, irrespective of race, ethnicity or zip code,” said Dr. Arati Prabhakar, science advisor and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, at a February event that had several federal agencies mark interoperability milestones.
Matt Doyle, interoperability software development lead at Epic, told Healthcare IT News in March that for QHINs to onboard healthcare providers, “you need policies that foster trust.”
ON THE RECORD
“By joining TEFCA, these health systems reaffirm their ongoing commitment to improving patient care by advancing health information exchange,” Doyle said in a statement.
“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 U.S. will participate.”
Andrea Fox is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Email: [email protected]
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.