On July 13, 2021, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released a timeline for establishing a trusted exchange framework, including a common agreement among health information networks, by 2022. The Sequoia Project was designated as the Recognized Coordinating Entity (RCE) for the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA) through an agreement awarded in August 2019. The timeline calls for the RCE to gather feedback during the remainder of calendar 2021 through webinars and Common Agreement Work Group Sessions, culminating with release of the final Trusted Exchange Framework, Common Agreement Version 1 and Qualified Health Information Network (QHIN) Technical Framework Version 1 in the first quarter of 2022. During the remainder of 2022, health information networks can apply to sign on to the Common Agreement.
The ONC explains that TEFCA is intended to establish a floor of universal interoperability across the country, rather than to replace existing health information networks. Existing networks will likely continue providing interoperability beyond the basic foundation established by TEFCA.