TEFCA promises true data interoperability, but the industry must address security challenges

Undoubtedly, full implementation of the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA) will save lives and improve patient care and outcomes. networks

A person is admitted to the emergency apartment afterwards a car accident. You are unconscious, bleeding internally and need immediate surgery. An assistant finds the person’s wallet and realizes they are not local . The hospital has no medical records for them.

An estimated 8 million Americans’ income is blood thinners, making any surgery much riskier. It is also true that comorbidities and their severity are directly related to surgical outcome, length of stay and direct discharge of the patient home. But the person will die without intervention, the surgeon notes, and an operating room is reserve. The surgeon is today faced with a crucial besides potentially dangerous decision.

The ultimate goal of the Trust Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA) is to open up medical information between providers and hopefully eliminate the previous scenario. After the TEFCA, the same unconscious person is confuse. An assistant enters the patient’s driver’s license number into the electronic medical record (EHR) system, where a nationwide game begins. The pick-up the check physician can then access data from extra health info networks that share common technical and functional requirements for sharing. The surgeon can type more informed decisions about the person’s medical care with more information.

Undoubtedly, full implementation of TEFCA will save lives and improve patient care and outcomes. However, as the number of electronic connections between data networks increases exponentially, privacy and data security challenges remain.

To maintain patient and provider trust in data sharing nets and reduce data breaches and cyber exposure. Accreditation programs are needed to promote best practices, administrative simplification, common standards for sharing. Open competition, and, most importantly, protecting information sharing.

Patient data wants to be free

Officially launched in January 2022, TEFCA is a set of common principles, terms and conditions to support the national exchange of electronic health information across different health information networks and platforms. The ultimate goal is to allow patient data from information silos and create a common framework for the direct exchange of information. The US Department of Health expects the first tests for the first networks in the fourth quarter of this year.

The regulations require the creation of qualified health information networks (QHINs) that agree on common exchange terms and functional and technical requirements. QHINs procedure the communication hub of the TEFCA network, routing requests, responses and messages between people, providers and entities exchanging data.

TEFCA promises a better way forward, but the healthcare industry must address its data breach issue, where third-party accreditation and industry certification canister benefit.

Accreditation can help ensure the sanctuary of data exchange

Certification of IT networks can go an extended way in addressing the interoperability challenge while increasing confidence that healthcare providers securely share data and patients.

Healthcare continues to be plague by data breaches and ransomware bouts compromising patient data. In 2021, more than 700 healthcare organizations stated more than 500 records violations to the Office for Civil Rights Violation. Portal better known as the HIPAA “Wall of Shame.” These 704 security breaches compromised nearly 46 million patient records. Almost three-quarters of the incidents were attribute to hacking, with another 20% caused by unauthorize access. And while service providers reported 72% of all violations, business partners accounted for 13% of the total, affecting more than 10.5 million patients.

Healthcare systems are made up of interconnecte technologies, care partners and business partners, each of which can be the frail link in the security restraint. For the 11th consecutive year, healthcare has had the highest costs associated with violations, which now exceed $9 million per incident.


The TEFCA interoperability standards will undoubtedly improve patient information flow and availability and physician decision-making quality in emerging situations. But this free flow of information cannot occur in an exchange environment full of weaknesses and vulnerabilities.

Hospitals, healthcare systems, acute and post-acute care facilities, technology providers and business partners already need to manage overall risk and exposure strategies internally and with partners. Industry accreditation and certification of the refuge and privacy of these data connections are critical to ensure compliance with standards and best. Practices while protecting patient data’s security, privacy and confidentiality.

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