Marching Forward: The Path to Operationalize TEFCA

By Elise Sweeney Anthony; Liz Palena Hall and Mariann Yeager, CEO, The Sequoia Project (the TEFCA Recognized Coordinating Entity)
Twitter: @ONC_HealthIT
Twitter: @sequoiaproject

On January 18, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the TEFCA Recognized Coordinating Entity (RCE), The Sequoia Project, released the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA). The next key step for TEFCA is the release of resources to advance its operationalization, such as standard operating procedures (SOPs). These SOPs will include specific policies and procedures to further guide QHINs and will identify, where applicable, necessary technical implementation requirements.

On May 16th the ONC and the RCE released the schedule for upcoming SOPs. In addition, the RCE has released an updated version of the QHIN Security Requirements for the Protection of TEFCA Information SOP, an initial QHIN Cybersecurity Certification List, draft versions of two additional SOPs, and the draft Application for Qualified Health Information Networks (QHINs). Links to materials are included below:

The SOPs and resources will provide more implementation details and will help potential QHINs, Participants, and Subparticipants make decisions regarding how they will leverage the network of TEFCA-compliant QHINs to meet their organizational goals. Additional input will be necessary to finalize some of the SOPs. The RCE looks forward to engaging with stakeholders to inform the development of those SOPs, including by receiving feedback on the RCE monthly calls (registration for the monthly calls can be found on the RCE website).

The publication of these materials will advance our steady progress toward realizing the TEFCA goals of establishing a universal policy and technical floor for nationwide interoperability, simplifying connectivity, and enabling individuals to gather their health care information. The SOP schedule is designed to make a set of SOPs available by August 2022. These SOPs will inform the application process for QHINs, which is set to begin in late summer/early fall. This is aligned with our goal of QHINs beginning to onboard as early as fall of this year.

We are excited about the broad interest and engagement among stakeholders in TEFCA and look forward to continuing to engage through upcoming educational webinars and outreach events. We look forward to supporting stakeholders as they prepare for TEFCA participation. And, be on the lookout soon for more information about upcoming plans for Health Level Seven (HL7®) Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource (FHIR®) standards pilots, in alignment with our FHIR Roadmap for TEFCA Exchange.

For more information on TEFCA, please visit, where you can register for the RCE’s upcoming webinars, download TEFCA documents and resources, and sign up for the RCE contact list.

View the TEFCA Standard Operating Procedures Release Schedule.

This article was originally published on the Health IT Buzz and is syndicated here with permission.