CommonWell to Seek QHIN Status as Application Date Approaches

Sept. 1, 2022
TEFCA Recognized Coordinating Entity expects to open the QHIN application portal on Oct. 3, 2022

As the Sequoia Project released a finalized Qualified Health Information Network (QHIN) application document, the nonprofit CommonWell Health Alliance announced its intention to apply to become one of the first QHINS as part of the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA).

The CommonWell network enables the federated exchange of patient information across more than 27,000 sites representing 171 million individuals on its nationwide network. Combined with its CommonWell Connector and collaboration connections like the Carequality Framework, connected provider sites can exchange data with more than 50,000 clinics, hospitals, specialty centers and more. To date, more than 2.6 billion health documents have been exchanged across the CommonWell network.

CommonWell said it is uniquely qualified to be a QHIN. The architectural concept advocated by TEFCA—which calls for a federated query model that leverages record locator services and a query broker—builds on the approach that CommonWell has delivered. With more than 75 member companies, CommonWell said it is ready to help build the next phase of nationwide interoperability.

“TEFCA has the potential to increase the level of empowerment by individuals and their care providers by enabling them to get the data they need to make the best care decisions—something CommonWell has been focused on since day one,” said Paul Wilder, executive director of CommonWell Health Alliance, in a statement. “CommonWell is more than prepared to transition to QHIN status, help build TEFCA, and take the nationwide exchange of EHI to the next level.”

Currently, stakeholders often must join multiple networks to get the information they need to support coordinated patient care, CommonWell noted. With TEFCA, joining a HIN that participates in the network created by the Common Agreement will enable access to and exchange of information from varied sources.

Mariann Yeager, chief executive officer of The Sequoia Project, said that with the recent release of the application and standard operating procedure (SOP) documents, the RCE is moving into the operational phase of TEFCA.  “Since the release of the Common Agreement in January 2022, we’ve been working toward hitting our promised timelines while seeking input from the community,” she said. “The feedback we received has been invaluable as we worked toward finalizing the SOPs and application.”

Potential QHINs may now notify the RCE of their intent to apply, as instructed in the QHIN Onboarding & Designation SOP. The intent to apply is the initial step in the application, onboarding, and designation process and does not indicate submission of the QHIN Application.

The RCE expects to open the application portal on Monday, October 3, 2022. The time period between now and then will allow prospective QHIN organizations to prepare their applications. The RCE will carefully evaluate applications to ensure that prospective QHINs meet the designation criteria. The RCE will announce the initial set of QHINs together; additional QHINs will be designated on a rolling basis.

“The release of the final QHIN Application and related documents is a major milestone for TEFCA. We have received tremendous stakeholder input for the crucial task of getting the policy and related requirements correct,” said Micky Tripathi, Ph.D., national coordinator for health information technology, in a statement. “We are very excited about the market interest expressed in TEFCA, and now invite eligible organizations to apply to become QHINs and help achieve the goal of universal network interoperability across the country.”

Sponsored Recommendations

Going Beyond the Smart Room: Empowering Nursing & Clinical Staff with Ambient Technology, Observation, and Documentation

Discover how ambient AI technology is revolutionizing nursing workflows and empowering clinical staff at scale. Learn about how Orlando Health implemented innovative strategies...

Enabling efficiencies in patient care and healthcare operations

Labor shortages. Burnout. Gaps in access to care. The healthcare industry has rising patient, caregiver and stakeholder expectations around customer experiences, increasing the...

Findings on the Healthcare Industry’s Lag to Adopt Technologies to Improve Data Management and Patient Care

Join us for this April 30th webinar to learn about 2024's State of the Market Report: New Challenges in Health Data Management.

Findings on the Healthcare Industry’s Lag to Adopt Technologies to Improve Data Management and Patient Care

2024's State of the Market Report: New Challenges in Health Data Management