Commentary: Draft Trusted Exchange and Common Agreement (TEFCA)

On February 16th, 2018, JPHIT submitted comment to the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology (ONC) on the draft Trusted Exchange and Common Agreement (TEFCA).  Following significant advances in the adoption and use of health information technology promoted by the HITECH Act of 2009, the TEFCA is intended to be an important step toward an interoperable health system nationwide. ONC is mandated by Congress under the 21st Century Cures Act to develop the TEFCA.

JPHIT’s commentary on the draft TEFCA covers several areas that concern public health data and information exchange within the health information ecosystem. Specifically, the following topics:

  1. The Potential of the TEFCA for Public Health
  2. A Significant Obstacle to the TEFCA Potential
  3. TEFCA Policy Issues
  4. TEFCA Standards and Scale

Overall, JPHIT believes that the TEFCA holds great potential to advance the ability of public health agencies to conduct mission-critical services with electronic health data exchanged with health care delivery systems. There are, however, ways to modify the draft TEFCA to better promote this potential for public health. Learn about these and more in the commentary available for download here.

Inter-Jurisdictional Health Information Exchange

As Americans become more mobile, so too must their health information. Public health agencies are increasingly called on to electronically exchange health information outside their jurisdictional borders. With differences in state privacy laws and local ordinances, such exchange frequently requires a data exchange agreement. This guidance document was developed by JPHIT to provide practical advice and information to public health managers and staff who craft such agreements.

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Future Information Capabilities for Public Health

Information is not only becoming more digital, it is coming from a wider variety of sources, moving at increasing speeds among more partners, and needed for ever-more timely analysis and action. At the same time, interest in population health data is greater than ever. These information briefs stimulate thinking, conversation and planning to help local and state public health officials and managers better understand major information and informatics trends. 

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