This past Monday, Kno2 sat alongside five other organizations invited by Health and Human Services (HHS) to celebrate the first set of networks approved to implement TEFCA as Qualified Health Information Networks (QHINs). This marked another major milestone in healthcare interoperability: application approval.
More Than a TEFCA Celebration
As we prepared to attend the event it was an important milestone not only for Kno2, but for all stakeholders focused to delivering a 21st Century healthcare delivery system. Achieving this milestone was fulfilling and the opportunity to attend was met with anticipation. However, the event was more than just a celebration. It was a culmination of many years of effort that are now seeing the final mile to truly delivering the long-awaited promise of broadly available, secure exchange of PHI across the entire ecosystem to all stakeholders.
Therasa Bell, Matt Becker and I had the privilege hear from the CDC, VA, Public Health, CMS, Office of Science and Technology about the importance of TEFCA, along with important comments from the HHS Secretary Becerra and head of ONC, Dr. Micky Tripathi. As the event proceeded the magnitude of importance, the respect given to those voluntarily seeking QHIN designation to drive towards the ultimate outcome of a fully connected health ecosystem struck me deeper than I anticipated. All who were recognized for application approval have been stewards of interoperability for years. While each of us may have taken a different path with focus in different areas, all shared the common goals of improving the patient experience, reducing cost and giving the provider what they need when they need it. Though we have all contributed to making material progress on those three important pillars it has been challenging to achieve the final miles of interoperability.
What became evident quickly is that the power of TEFCA under a private/public initiative brings tangibility that would be hard to achieve otherwise. In the private sector, we innovate and solve problems on behalf of our stakeholders. However, no single entity can solve the entirety of the challenge without the assistance of the government partnering with us to establish a common framework that all participants can trust.
It Will Take All of Us
As we leave DC and prepare to achieve the final stages of QHIN designation, the passion to achieve the outcome was cemented by bringing all of us together to fully understand and respect the important of the role that QHINs will play in the success of U.S. Healthcare moving forward.