ONC Begins Discussion on Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement and Seeks Public Comment

On Monday, July 24, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) held its first meeting on establishing a Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement around nationwide interoperability efforts from the 21st Century Cures Act.

The meeting featured presentations from eight trust frameworks: Carequality, CARIN Alliance, CommonWell Health Alliance, Digital Bridge, Direct Trust, eHealth Exchange, National Association of Trusted Exchange and the Strategic HIE Collaborative. Each group presented their current approach and key principles or goals that guide the development and use of their framework.

ONC also announced that it is trying to engage with stakeholders on these issues and beginning a 30-day public comment period to receive comments on the trusted exchange framework and common agreement provisions in Section 4003 of 21st Century Cures. The agency is seeking comments specifying considerations, concerns, and success stories for the exchange of health data across networks. The comment period will close on August 25, 2017.

The specifics that ONC is asking for in stakeholder comments includes:

  • Standardization: Adhere to industry and federally recognized technical standards, policies, best practices, and procedures.
  • Transparency: Conduct all exchange openly and transparently.
  • Cooperation and NonDiscrimination: Collaborate with stakeholders across the continuum of care to exchange electronic health information, even when a stakeholder may be a business competitor.
  • Security and Patient Safety: Exchange electronic health information securely and in a manner that promotes patient safety and ensures data integrity.
  • Access: Ensure that patients and their caregivers have easy access to their electronic health information.
  • DataDriven Choice: Exchange multiple records at one time to enable identification and trending of data to lower the cost of care, improve the health of the population, and enable consumer choice.
  • General Comments: Stakeholders may submit additional comments in this section that do not fit in the above categories.

More details on this week’s ONC meeting are included in a HIMSS blog post from Mari Greenberger, Director of Informatics at HIMSS.