How to TEFCA with Redox

March 7, 2024
Garrett Rhodes Product Strategist

We’ve been talking about the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement℠ (TEFCA℠) for what feels like ages, but now that it is operational, we thought it was about time we said a bit more.

First, and foremost: We are excited.

TEFCA outlines a common set of principles, terms, and conditions to enable the nationwide exchange of health information across disparate health information networks (HINs). As such, it provides a foundation for healthcare to overcome many of the interoperability challenges that plague it. Over time, it will undoubtedly make data more accessible and more useful in improving care coordination and patient experiences. We applaud the hard work that the ONC, CMS, The Sequoia Project, and the Qualified Health Information Exchanges (QHINs) have done to bring it live.

How Redox will participate in TEFCA

Many of our customers and partners have asked if Redox plans to become a QHIN. The answer to this, for now, is no. We believe we can enable the success of TEFCA in a slightly different role—as an on-ramp to QHINs—providing our customers with the ability to connect to and participate in TEFCA via the QHIN of their choice. As an on-ramp, Redox will remove some of the complexity in working with QHINs directly, and instead give our customers an easy-to-use, developer-friendly API.

While TEFCA is well-positioned to solve many interoperability challenges, it will not solve them all. For the foreseeable future, we see participation in TEFCA as just one of the many ways Redox customers can exchange data with other healthcare organizations and source systems. Many use cases will continue to need direct integration with EHRs, digital health technologies, HIEs, payer source systems, and more to enable the truly seamless end-to-end workflows needed to improve patient, clinician, and administrative experiences. We are focusing our precious research and development resources on ensuring organizations can make the most of the incoming TEFCA data, as part of their overarching integration strategy.

The benefits of connecting to a QHIN via Redox

A single connection for all your integration needs: Redox will connect our customers to TEFCA, while also connecting them to any other system required to power their solutions, workflows, or analytics, via a single HL7® Fast Interoperability Healthcare Resources (FHIR®) or Redox JSON-based API. Regardless of the capabilities of a selected QHIN, we abstract away the complexity of incoming data, including the XCPD and XCA IHE profiles that are the current technical pinnings of TEFCA. Redox customers can focus on managing a single incoming stream of normalized data – no broad or advanced knowledge of aging healthcare data standards is required. 

Use FHIR now: TEFCA does not yet require FHIR, and many QHINs will not offer services in FHIR for some time. If you see the future in FHIR, you can work with Redox and use it now, regardless of TEFCA requirements or QHIN capabilities.

Make TEFCA data more useful: Redox offers a range of products and add-on services that will help you make incoming data from TEFCA and other sources more useful:

Get all of TEFCA’s benefits, without all of its costs: For now, TEFCA is voluntary, and one of the considerations for many organizations will be balancing the benefits and costs of participating. Responding to incoming requests from the TEFCA network could be a daunting proposition for nearly any organization. Redox offers the ability to respond to incoming requests on behalf of our customers, effectively removing the potential burden of participation, and enabling them to focus just on the benefits.  

Avoid lock-in: As of today, there are seven officially designated QHINs including Commonwell Health Alliance, eHealth Exchange, Epic, Health Gorilla, Kno2, KONZA, and MedAllies. The current landscape provides healthcare organizations with a broad range of choices and more are expected in the future. By using Redox as an on-ramp, organizations can enjoy more flexibility in who they initially choose as their QHIN, with simplified switching down the road as QHINs inevitably differentiate their services or as more QHINs are added.

Peace of mind: While TEFCA is new, its foundation was built on the back of Carequality. Redox has been a Carequality implementer via Redox Access since 2019. We facilitate Carequality connections to more than 5,500 organizations—orders of magnitude above and beyond most of the currently designated QHINs.

Start TEFCAing

We’d love to discuss your TEFCA strategy and provide recommendations on what will work best for your organization, given your goals and current integration strategies.

If you are a current Redox customer, reach out to your Technical Account Manager. If you are not a Redox customer, contact us.