The organization Epic, an Electronic Health Record (EHR) vendor, is set to partner with The Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA) this year. The newly founded partnership will contribute towards the goal of TEFCA; to make the interoperability of healthcare data unchallenging and achievable for all.
What is TEFCA?
TEFCA is an agreement PUBLISHED by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in efforts to improve the level of interoperability between all healthcare entities and associated organizations. With the implementation of TEFCA, regulation can occur as healthcare entities share basic and sensitive information with each other using published rules. Within TEFCA, the Trusted Exchange Framework aspect outlines a set of principles that Health Information Networks (HINs) should follow to exchange information efficiently, through lawful means. These principles are non-binding.
Epic was founded in 1979 as a software company that seeks to improve the healthcare of the present and future generations. Four decades later, Epic is used in healthcare entities globally, with over a quarter of a billion individuals availing of an electronic record in Epic. In recent years, Epic have placed emphasis on the interoperability aspect of the healthcare industry, chasing a popular objective of easily exchangeable healthcare data between all healthcare entities. Dave Fuhrmann, vice president of interoperability at Epic, commented on the recent partnership via an Epic press release, stating the following: “Our fundamental goal is to help all patients receive informed, personalized care—regardless of where they go to receive it”. Fuhrmann also stated that Epic customers have already been leading with their use of Carequality, a popular exchange network. The network is used by millions in conjunction with Care Everywhere, the original interoperability network founded in 2008, through hundreds of thousands of physicians across the network. At present, Carequality is used in approximately seven out of ten hospitals in the United States.
Customers of Epic have been notably satisfied with their experience with the organization. Recently, Epic introduced new features, allowing customers to avail of telehealth services using a generic web browser in addition to a dedicated mobile application. Epic received the highest customer service rating from a survey conducted by KLAS, while Elation and Kareo received lower scores. Epic plan to apply for Qualified Health Information Network (QHIN) status, later this year.