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The Sequoia Project is Seeking Feedback from the Industry

The Sequoia Project, which was named the recognized coordinating entity for implementing the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, released a draught of the technical framework for Qualified Health Information Networks this week.

The framework outlines the functional and technological requirements that a QHIN must meet, including robust privacy and security, ways for identifying and authenticating exchange participants, a method for patient discovery and identity resolution, and support for required exchange protocols. ONC and Sequoia are currently soliciting comments from stakeholders on the framework, which focuses primarily on QHIN-to-QHIN exchange needs.

Sequoia will identify QHINs, which will serve as essential connection points inside the Common Agreement’s network of networks. They’ll route inquiries, responses, and messages between entities and individuals sharing data based on the goal of the transaction. The 21st Century Cures Act gives the ONC the task of developing a Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement.

They were described as a single, scalable “on-ramp” enabling nationwide interoperability participation. As a result, ONC awarded the Sequoia Project a cooperative agreement to operate TEFCA in 2019, and the public-private collaboration was extended in 2020. Since then, ONC and Sequoia have collaborated closely to develop TEFCA, which they refer to as a “new exchange paradigm.” TEFCA will go live in 2022, according to ONC, which announced it earlier this month.As we move to live, in production, exchange under the Common Agreement in 2022, the release of the draught QTF for feedback is a significant milestone. In the future, the QTF will expand to embrace new standards such as FHIR, and we encourage industry feedback on a suggested FHIR roadmap that will be announced soon.

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